Left sees tax surrender, says Obama reelection bid now crippled
By Sam Youngman - 12/07/10 06:00 AM ET
President Obama could be crippling his own reelection effort by making a deal with Republicans to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, Democratic strategists and liberal groups said Monday.
A two-year extension of tax rates ushered in by President George W. Bush nearly a decade ago, would ensure a resumption of today’s fiery debate in 2012, when Obama is expected to reapply for his job, strategists in both parties said.
It also is angering the left wing of the Democratic Party, which already has a long list of complaints about Obama.
“President Obama has shown a complete refusal to fight Republicans throughout his presidency even when the public is on his side — and millions of his former supporters are now growing disappointed and infuriated by this refusal to fight,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
The PCCC on Monday afternoon circulated quotes from 2008 Obama campaign staffers who expressed disillusionment with the president for agreeing to extend tax cuts for the wealthy amid signs that the White House and Republicans were edging closer to a deal.
“Obama is demobilizing the troops and demoralizing the public right before he seeks reelection,” Green said.
The compromises by the White House have also disappointed liberals in the House and Senate, who have pushed Obama to take a tougher line with the GOP. Some liberals had said it would be better for Obama to allow all of the tax cuts to expire rather than cave to GOP demands and allow tax cuts for the wealthy to be extended.
Democratic strategists are disappointed that the president appears to be fighting the tax debate on terms dictated by Republicans, who have been able to frame a tax increase on any taxpayers as detrimental to a struggling economy. Friday’s unemployment report, showing a surprising jump in the jobless rate — to 9.8 percent — didn’t make matters easier for the White House.