I occasionally have the chance to listen to Bill Press’s morning radio show, but had been having trouble listening for very long recently because Press had taken on the mantle of Booster Club member, actively defending Barack Obama as Obama and his team engaged in hippie punching leading up to the midterm elections. That is why it was so surprisingly refreshing to catch a bit of the program this morning and to hear Press and his listeners ranting this morning about how they will completely give up on Obama if he caves in to Republican pressure and extends the Bush tax cuts for the highest income brackets.
Press and his listeners were doing a tremendous job of parsing Obama’s language in his attempt to claim that he doesn’t want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Watch the video, and you will note that what Obama really says is that he doesn’t want to permanently extend those cuts. Press correctly points out that this means Obama is planning a “compromise” in which the cuts will be “temporarily” extended. And of course, when those temporary extensions are about to expire, say in 2012, they will just be extended again and again. Also note that CNN’s Ed Henry is incapable of seeing the duplicity, as he headlines his article accompanying the video with “Obama says he’s not caving on tax cuts”.
So I would like to take this opportunity to extend a hearty welcome to former Booster Clubbers. Yes, we DFH’s get punched now and then, but we at least know that we are adhering to our principles and not selling out to the continued transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich. For a bit of remedial reading on this topic, today’s column by Paul Krugman is a must, where he completely destroys Obama’s Catfood Commission:
It seemed obvious, as soon as the commission’s membership was announced, that “bipartisanship” would mean what it so often does in Washington: a compromise between the center-right and the hard-right.
It will take time to crunch the numbers here, but this proposal clearly represents a major transfer of income upward, from the middle class to a small minority of wealthy Americans. And what does any of this have to do with deficit reduction?
It’s no mystery what has happened on the deficit commission: as so often happens in modern Washington, a process meant to deal with real problems has been hijacked on behalf of an ideological agenda. Under the guise of facing our fiscal problems, Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson are trying to smuggle in the same old, same old — tax cuts for the rich and erosion of the social safety net.
So, welcome former Booster Clubbers, one and all. We have no dress code here, and the only requirement is a desire to make our country better by promoting an economic playing field that is no longer tilted in favor of large corporations and the ultra-wealthy.
Thanks for listening. I’ll be here all week.