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."
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!