Bush-Obama tax cuts: At least my dog didn't die this weekend(Read article summary)
The first time these tax cuts passed, it was an even sadder weekend.
Jim Young / Reuters
So the first time the Bush tax cuts were signed into law (by President George W. Bush), my beloved golden retriever â€śSunnyâ€ť (short for â€śSunshineâ€ť) unexpectedly and very suddenly died in my backyard under her favorite tree. This was on a rainy Saturday over Memorial Day weekend, 2001â€“making it a miserable, tragic weekend all around.
Iâ€™m relieved to report that at least my dog didnâ€™t die this time around, now that President Obama has signed them into law and turned them into the â€śObama tax cuts.â€ť
From the signing ceremony (video above), thereâ€™s a lot of happy talk about â€śbipartisanshipâ€ť and â€ścompromise.â€ť But itâ€™s easy to â€ścompromiseâ€ť when you donâ€™t have to give up anythingâ€“when instead you just have to stop resisting what the other side wants. As Vice President Biden explains (emphasis added):
The famed 18th century British statesman, Edmund Burke, once said, â€śAll government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.â€ť Today, we have a crystal clear example of what he meant.
This package â€” this package is a result of leaders from both sides coming together to act on behalf of the American people at a time they need it mostâ€¦
It means accepting some things we donâ€™t like in order to get the job done for Americans as needs to be done.
But thatâ€™s not exactly the â€śbarterâ€ťâ€“or â€śgive and takeâ€ťâ€“kind of â€ścompromise.â€ť Itâ€™s the easier â€śtake and takeâ€ť kind that policymakers have mastered over the past decade that has resulted in such fiscally irresponsible policymaking, where seemingly-free deficit financing becomes the easiest â€śbipartisanâ€ť way out of gridlock. As Iâ€™ve said before, itâ€™s not mutual sacrifice; itâ€™s mutual grabbing.
The President seems to know this was the easy partâ€“â€ťcompromisingâ€ť on a tax cut package that gave him all the deficit-financed tax cuts he wanted in exchange for just accepting a few more the other side wanted, too. He said (emphasis added):
[W]eâ€™ve got to make some difficult choices ahead when it comes to tackling the deficit. In some ways, this [tax cut deal/"compromise"] was easier than some of the tougher choices weâ€™re going to have to make next year.
Yes, a LOT easier. We can do this kind of policy making with our eyes closed.
But like I said (optimist that I am), at least my dog didnâ€™t die.
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