Surprise surprise, the Democrats have once again capitulated to Republican demands and have agreed to extend the insane Bush tax cuts for another two years in return for the extension of unemployment benefits and tax cuts for the middle classes. Obama expressed his displeasure at extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, but said a compromise was made in order to get Americans back to work and avoid stalemate in Washington.
The tax cuts to the very wealthiest Americans will cost the country $95 billion over the next two years, money that could be spent on creating jobs. Instead, the rich will use it to pay for their 4th and 5th houses in the Caribbean.
While the rich get their tax cuts for another two years, the unemployed only get another year of unemployment insurance. Why this was used as a bargaining chip is anyone's guess. Under no circumstances, ever, should unemployment benefit during a recession be used to negotiate with. Obama should have told Republicans that cutting benefits was completely off the table, and that extending the Bush tax cuts would be so dangerous to economic recovery that it borders on treason.
However, true to form, the Democrats have given away everything they supposedly stand for, and have achieved the absolute bare minimum in return. Now the Republicans will move the goal posts further and further to the Right and watch gleefully while Obama and the Democrats lumber along behind them.
What's next? Drilling in the Grand Canyon in order to save social security? Arming 7 year olds with Mac 10s so they can have free schooling?