Obama and his Grand Bargain
Our honored labor and liberal dignitaries seemed quite excited as they exited their White House meeting with the President today but, from what I’m reading, it’s hard to understand why. The only thing coming out, it seems, is that Obama is committed to letting income tax rates revert on January 1st to where current law already has them for those making over $250,000 while reducing them for those under that threshold to where they are today under the Bush tax code.
But what of social security, medicare, and medicaid? Matt Bai of the New York Times reminds us today that the whole debate about these “entitlements” is “disingenuous” as Obama has already offered to sharply cut these programs back in 2011. And disingenuous it is.
The liberals attending today of course know the President has no “entitlement” clothes, but for career and institutional reasons are incapable of pointing this out. Instead, they are even ready to mount a mobilization of their members to fight for Obama’s program. This is nothing if not pathetic.
Labor leaders said they plan to mobilize their members in the coming weeks to press Republicans to support the extension of tax cuts for middle income families. Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, said labor needs to remain “as engaged as we were in the election throughout the rest of this year to make sure we get the Republican House to say yes to tax cuts for the middle class.”
Lost in this whole fiasco is the fact that median family income is just $50,054 and a representative family of four pays an income tax of just $576. Any possible minor benefit of maintaining current tax rates for such families will be dwarfed by hits in the “entitlement” programs.
Who are Obama and his assorted liberal backers representing anyway? It’s clearly not the average American. The $250,000 cutoff is five times the median family income and many Democrats talk of making it even higher. What then can we make of this “balanced approach”? If we take as our starting point the tax rates that will automatically go into effect under current law on January 1st, what do we find?
The answer is certainly revealing. The wealthy will pay not one penny more toward the deficit and will even receive a tax cut for the first $250,000 in income; the upper middle class will take a sharp hit in entitlements but will be compensated by a reduction in income tax rates; and, finally, families making the median income and below who pay little to no income tax anyway will see nothing but entitlement cuts. There are positives here for everyone except the average worker. And for this, our union and liberal leaders are ready to hit the streets in support??!!