Champions of the Already Haves

Robert Borosage

The deal is down. Liberals irate. The press trolling for firebrand denunciations of the president.

So it is worth noting the obvious that could otherwise be lost in the noise.

This was a negotiation in which the wealthiest Americans were represented by a unified Republican Party that put the rich above most Americans, the afflicted and the country. Unified Republican Senators promised to block any action on anything unless the tax cuts on the rich were extended.. Republicans voted against extending tax cuts only to the bottom 98% and more indefensibly, against extending unemployment benefits to workers who lost their jobs in the economic downturn. They even vowed to hold up a vote on the Start Treaty unless the rich got more.

In the negotiation, the president demanded extension of unemployment insurance, cuts in the payroll tax to stimulate the economy, extension of the child care and earned income tax credits. Republicans pushed for raising the exemption from the estate tax to estates worth $10 million for a couple, and lowering the top estate tax rate to 35%. The president championed the unemployed and working people. The Republicans were staunch for the multi-millionaires.

Americans should remember this. Certainly the wealthy do. They will fill Republican campaign coffers in payment of services rendered. I don’t much like the agreement. I wish the President had chosen to fight longer and harder. But at the end of the day, we should remember what side he was on and the interests unfified Republican legislators chose to champion.

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