Greg Sargent talks Bush tax cuts and GOP/Democratic comity and compromise:
There is a way a one-year or two-year temporary extension could represent a compromise of sorts: If Republicans signal a willingness to at least entertain the idea of letting the high end cuts expire after that temporary extension. But many of them aren’t doing that. Their position is that the high-end cuts need to be made permanent. Full stop.
Exactly right. The GOP idea of compromise here is permanent Bush tax cuts. I suspect they might be willing to dump the tax cuts for the bottom 99% of America, but that top 1% isn’t going anywhere and they don’t want some two-year fix, they want it made permanent.
Democrats need to get through their heads that losing the entire Bush tax cuts package is actually the best long-term policy outcome; that this is also the “no deal, time expires” outcome makes it all the more powerful as a bargaining chip. Always be willing to walk away from the entire thing, and always make clear that all blame rests on the GOP by making clear that full-extension is their position, so partial repeal is the compromise position. Yes, walking away means short term harm to everyone making below $250k/yr, but if that’s what it takes to roll back the tax cuts for the richest of the rich: so be it. Only from that position of relative strength do you get the GOP to even approach the table. And, I’ll let you in on a secret: they still won’t.
This is why it’s the perfect issue for the Democrats. It’s important, easy to understand, and directly pits the hyper-rich against the interests of most Americans. Swing for the fences. You’ve got nothing to lose. If you force the GOP to accept short-term, top 1% cuts, it’s a win. If you force the media to face the fact that the GOP has zero interest in compromise on anything, it’s a win, and if you force the true compromise position of time-limited cuts for 99% of Americans and an immediate roll-back to Clinton-era rates for the top 1%: it’s a giant win of the sort that could redefine the terms and dimensions of exactly how policies do or don’t get done over the next two years. So why not try?