Here's a summary of the tax deal that I think might be somewhat accurate:
It isn't _just_ unemployment for 13 months and tax breaks for everyone + extra tax breaks on estate and upper brackets. There's other stuff in there too, not just things the Republicans wanted, either. The annual AMT adjustment is included. Looks like the Making Work Pay thing didn't get extended, which is a little sad.
But wait! This is an even better source:
Looks like not getting Making Work Pay is just fine: instead there's a reduction in the amount of payroll taxes paid by employees (working out to more money in worker pockets and thus more money circulating in the economy, generating more demand and more jobs).
Klein is not an overly optimistic person in Washington, and he tends to be fairly accurate in
his reporting. Anyone out there looking for bipartisanship in Washington ought to be feeling pretty happy, and in general, I think a lot of us should be breathing a huge sigh of relief. For many people in the US, this could have been much, much worse.
This is also excellent:
I find myself in an odd position. I really wanted Clinton to win the primary (and obviously the general), altho obviously I voted for Obama in the general. Part of my rationale was that I didn't really think Obama would fight, and I didn't think he'd recognize just how hard it was going to be to deal with Republicans in Washington. I figured him for a deal maker, and a centrist, and I expected him to get completely screwed. In practice, he's been unbelievably adept at getting stuff accomplished, and while his positioning in public is consistently centrist, the actual legislation and programs happening are far better for my set of ideals than I would have anticipated. Simultaneously, a lot of people that I perceived as wrong in how they understood Obama during the campaign have become really disillusioned with him as President. I thought they were expecting too much (and I think I was right about that still) -- but they also got way more than I expected them to.
I think that anyone who is particularly concerned about how the base feels about a President immediately _after_ a midterm election is sort of missing the point about how the political cycle in this country works, especially when run through any kind of reasonable filter for high-information/low-information voting patterns. It'll be interesting to watch us run through this tax debate again in the context of a presidential election. That's a fight that everyone seems to really want to have, at a time that everyone wants to have it. Could be fun. :-)