Obama had a bad November. Self-confessedly shellacked in the midterm election, he fled the scene to Asia and various unsuccessful meetings, only to return to a sad-sack lame-duck Congress with ghostly dozens of defeated Democrats wandering the halls.
Now, with his stunning tax deal, Obama is back. Holding no high cards, he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama.
Compare this with Bill Clinton, greatest of all comeback kids, who, at a news conference a full five months after his shellacking in 1994, was reduced to plaintively protesting that “the president is relevant here.” He had been so humiliatingly sidelined that he did not really recover until late 1995 when he outmaneuvered Newt Gingrich in the government-shutdown showdown.
And that was Clinton responding nimbly to political opportunity. Obama fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance, an even more impressive achievement.
Krauthammer also deplores the stupidity of the Republicans (which you should never underestimate
After the shambles of the election and with no bargaining power – the Republicans could have gotten everything they wanted on the Bush tax cuts retroactively in January without fear of an Obama veto – he walks away with what even Paul Ryan admits was $313 billion in superfluous spending.
Including a $6 billion subsidy for ethanol. Why, just a few weeks ago Al Gore, the Earth King, finally confessed that ethanol subsidies were a mistake. There is not a single economic or environmental rationale left for this boondoggle that has induced American farmers to dedicate an amazing 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop – for burning! And the Republicans have just revived it.
Even as they were near unanimously voting for this monstrosity, Republicans began righteously protesting $8.3 billion of earmarks in Harry Reid’s omnibus spending bill. They seem not to understand how ridiculous this looks after having agreed to a Stimulus II that even by their own generous reckoning has 38 times as much spending as all these earmarks combined.
Obama is blessed with having the most stupid opposition in American Congressional history.
However, Krauthammer started off the wrong foot by beginning the article with this,
If Barack Obama wins reelection in 2012, as is now more likely than not, historians will mark his comeback as beginning on Dec. 6, the day of the Great Tax Cut Deal of 2010.
There ain’t no tax cut. Your taxes will not go down on January 1. Only in governmentspeak does anyone thinks of not raising taxes as a tax cut. If you die with a $5 million estate, your heirs still have to pay 35%.
As Don Surber says, Perhaps the good doctor has been in Washington too long.
The top marginal rate will remain 25% higher than it was in the final year of the Reagan presidency; it remains at 35%; in 1988 through 1990, the top income tax rate was 28%.
And now comes the bad news: the bill adds to the deficit.