Steve Kornacki at Salon beats me to the punch: Obama made the right decision in compromising with the GOP, and for their part, the GOP hammered out a smart compromise. The Republicans agree to three intelligent things: ratifying START, getting a DADT repeal through Congress, and unemployment benefits to help stimulate the economy, and Obama agrees to something also pretty smart: keeping the upper bracket tax rate low while the economy recovers. Both sides get stimulative tax cuts for those making under $250,000 per year and a payroll tax holiday.
Just as it warmed my heart to see financial reform pass Congress and ObamaCare make it through, the temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts is further evidence in my book that when push comes to shove, our leaders in Washington are good at finding the middle road where both sides agree to drop their stupid policies to get the smart ones through. The only really ugly part of the deal is where both sides agreed to split the difference on the estate tax– I’d prefer to see something much higher get levied against inheritances than what ultimately made the cut.
Kornacki tries to make the case that the compromise will be good, politically, for Obama. I have no idea if that’s true– certainly David Paul Kuhn makes a pretty solid case for the opposite, and the mind of the progressive left voter is a mystery to me. In any case, the deal is a good precedent– perhaps next we can swap votes on ag subsidies, the Dream Act, or earmarks.