Grand Bargains for dummies

Grand Bargains

by digby

Tax cuts extensions for rich people in exchange for unemployment extensions for broke people. Is this a great country (for rich people) or what?

President Obama suggested Tuesday that a group of congressional leaders he has asked to work out a compromise on expiring tax cuts will also try to work out a compromise on expiring unemployment benefits.

"We discussed working together to keep the government running this year -- and running in a fiscally responsible way," Obama said. "And we discussed unemployment insurance, which expires today. I've asked that Congress act to extend this emergency relief without delay to folks who are facing tough times by no fault of their own."

Let me rephrase that:

The Republicans would like to pay for millionaires' tax cuts by throwing the unemployed out in the streets at Christmas time. It's their way of celebrating the joy of the holiday season. Democrats are afraid that if they don't extend tax cuts for millionaires every pundit will be mad at them. So I'm going to compromise by agreeing to extend the tax cuts in exchange for allowing the Republicans to take credit for being decent human beings rather than the evil scumbags they are by extending unemployment benefits. (Democrats will still be seen as desperate losers and everyone will hate me, as usual, but that's how the system works.)

Oh, and once that's done we'll finally be able to do that Grand Bargain I've been promising and get down to the business of slashing entitlements. The Republicans have already agreed to stage a phony hissy fit to be named later which they can use as a negotiating chip to get what they wanted in the first place. We will, of course, meet them halfway and agree to destroy the safety net. It's win-win!

Update: BTW, the "centrist" ex-Giuliani speechwriter John Avlon was on CNN just now, wringing his hands and arguing ad nauseam that all the American people want is for everyone to just stop the fighting. John King was very sympathetic and agreed.

Is that what all those Republicans who voted for far right Tea Party candidates want? What I heard was that want their politicians to fight as hard as possible for their agenda. Liberals want the same thing. The only constituency that seems to be upset by the fighting is the Village constituency which is obviously quite agitated to be wasting time dealing wit such silliness as unemployment insurance and social security cuts and tax breaks for millionaires. Who cares about that trivia?

There are issues worth getting passionate about, like the horror of unauthorized presidential fellatio or the horror of unauthorized leaking of documents to the press, but arguing over things that affect Real Americans is the last thing Real Americans want. Just ask the Villagers, our self-designated celebrity millionaire stand-ins. They know us better than we know ourselves.