Just Who is Holding Whom Hostage?


President Obama struck a deal with the Republicans. They agreed to:

Extend unemployment for some, but not the 99ers whose benefits have run out. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but he didn’t mention that detail.)

Make Social Security go bankrupt faster by reducing the payroll tax. (Didn’t FDR sell Social Security as an insurance policy? If so, how would insurers remain solvent by lowering premiums when the cost of paying claims keeps rising?)

Bring back the estate tax of 35% of estates worth $5 million or more. (I believe it’s criminal to confiscate 35% of what one has earned and been taxed on, but not in the same sense some liberals are calling it criminal.)

Extend the current tax rates for all Americans for two years.

You’d think Obama would be happy. He has more stimulus, he gets to claim he cut taxes by making Social Security even more insolvent, and the dream of taxing estates is again a reality. Not only that, I’m sure there are more than a few independent voters out there who are happy their taxes aren’t going up and will give Obama credit. So, what does he do? Why, he appears and gives a speech a petulant child could have written.

President Obama looks haggard and peeved and petulant at his White House press briefing on the tax deal, still underway as I type.

Exuding his typical gracelessness, he pouted about being forced into negotiations, whined about “tax cuts for the wealthy” as the “Holy Grail” of the Republican Party, and yes, referred to the GOP as “hostage-takers.”

“It’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed…the hostage was the American people.”

So much self-pitying stuff and nonsense packed into one plaintive wail.

Here’s video if you can stand it. He was so dour you’d think he just found out the US military was capturing and releasing the enemy in a war zone.

This wasn’t the only time he called the Republican’s hostage takers.

“It’s tempting not to negoitate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed,” President Obama said at his Tuesday press conference.

“In this case, the hostage was the American people,” Obama said.

Who is holding whom hostage here? Americans are now hostage to his rotten Obamacare bill. It’s so bad Obamacare waivers have doubled, and dozens of unions have opted-out. Too bad the rest of us don’t have that kind of clout. I think we could say we’ve been held hostage. As Philip Klein noted:

Liberals are enraged at Obama for caving into Republicans on the tax rates, but as a conservative, if I had to choose either one, I would have much preferred letting the tax rates expire to creating the massive new health care entitlement. Over the decades, tax rates have gone up and down, but politicians — not even Ronald Reagan — have made a dent in entitlement spending. National health care has long been a dream of liberals, and while they didn’t get all the way with this one piece of legislation, it does put us on the road to becoming a European -style welfare state. Its existence also makes it impossible to reform entitlements on market-friendly terms, given that health care is the key factor that’s driving up the cost of government.

Speaking of hostages, what about our kids? They’ll be hostages to China and every other hostile nation holding our debt, which Obama tripled in his first year in office. (Or did he quadruple it? Who can keep track anymore?)

I’ll bet GM’s bondholders wished someone held them hostage to keep them from getting thrown under Obama’s bus. And what about the hundreds of thousands who’s livelihoods depend upon the offshore oil drilling industry? I’d say they’re being held hostage by the administration’s moratorium on drilling. If I had all night I could go on and on.

And he’s talking about Republicans holding America hostage? Who does he think he’s kidding?


Allahpundit weighed in:

Two clips for you, the first of him snottily reprising Bob Menendez’s terrorist analogy by comparing Republicans to “hostage-takers” on taxes — and then using that to justify his decision to negotiate with them(!). Note to The One: Probably not a good idea for America’s top law enforcement officer and military commander-in-chief to broadcast the fact that he’ll come to the table only if you play rough enough with him.

Yeah, way to go. But then again, it’s not like they haven’t already figured that out since we’re capturing and releasing enemy fighters in Afghanistan!

As usual, Thomas Sowell brilliantly summed up the rhetoric coming from the left, and shot it down quite handily.

Not only are the so-called “tax cuts” not really tax cuts, most of the people called “rich” are not really rich. Rich means having a lot of wealth. But income taxes don’t touch wealth. No wonder some billionaires are saying it’s OK to raise income taxes. They would still be billionaires if taxes took 100 percent of their current income.

What those who are arguing against “tax cuts for the rich” are promoting is raising the tax rates on families making $250,000 a year and up. A husband and wife making $125,000 a year each are not rich. If they have a kid going to one of the many colleges charging $30,000 a year (in after-tax money) for tuition alone, they are not likely to feel anywhere close to being rich.

Many people earning an annual income of $125,000 a year do so only after years of earning a lot less than that before eventually working their way up to that level. For politicians to step in at that point and confiscate what they have invested years of working to achieve is a little much.

It also takes a lot of brass to talk about taxing “millionaires and billionaires” when most of the people whose taxes the liberals want to raise are neither. Why is so much deception necessary, if your case is good?

Read the whole thing. (H/T A Voice in the Wilderness)

Update: Via Breitbart, here’s the second “hostage” video.

Also, Senator DeMint will not go along with the compromise as is.

Senator JimDeMint just announced on my program that he will oppose the deal as well as a vote for cloture on the deal. He is reluctant to criticize GOP Senate leadership, but believes the deal at a minimum has to be paid for, and that we need “a permanent economy” not a temporary one as well as permanent tax cuts, not temporary tax cuts.

I can’t say I disagree with the sentiment.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Republicans compromising to do something good (keep our tax rates from going up) when they are in the minority. Normally I’d say it’s like mixing a half gallon of bad milk with a half gallon of good milk and winding up with a gallon of spoiled milk. What do you think? I’m a bit torn. Ben Howe makes some good points for the pro-compromise argument. Unfortunately, we have a petulant radical in the White House, and the radicals still control both the House and the Senate. They’ve been weakened, but they’re still in power.

Update 2: There’s a real Democrat cat fight going on. “Mee-ow. Fft. Ffffft.”