By now America has grown to expect that every failed negotiation by the politico-financial oligarchy always ends up with some version of the "Mutual Assured Destruction" card. And while the bankers of the world at least threaten others with total annihilation if their "much more erudite" suggestions are not adopted up by the great unwashed plebs, the president has come up with a unique spin on this worn out tactic. The Hill reports that the president has been telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency. This begs the question: with the domestic (and global) economy in shambles, and not foundering only due to $4+ trillion in fiscal and monetary stimuli, and near-double digit unemployment, (there is, however, a silver lining - Reuters reports 2010 may be the second highest bonus payout season on Wall Street ever), whether Obama's departure would even be considered 'bad thing'...
From The Hill:
"The White House is putting on tremendous pressure making phone calls, the president is making phone calls saying this is the end of his presidency if he doesn't get this bad deal," he told CNN's Eliot Spitzer.
Obama's push shows that the president is going to the mat in order to push through Congress the compromise brokered with Republicans.
During the end of the healthcare debate, Obama reportedly told Democrats upset that the bill did not contain a public healthcare option that not passing it could put his presidency on the line and stall the liberal agenda for decades.
The White House has been aggressively selling the deal, which includes a two-year extension of all the expiring Bush tax cuts in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, to skeptical lawmakers and the public.
The Senate passed the $853 billion legislation by an overwhelming 81-19 margin, sending it to the House.
Though House liberals and a some conservatives have voiced opposition to the deal, some opponents have conceded that the likelihood of the deal failing at this juncture is very low.
Still, DeFazio has not been sold.
"I don't feel that way, I think this is potentially the end of his possibility of being reelected if he gets this deal and it's a trap," he said.
So here is the math: marginally higher taxes, and the potential for actual economic improvement in the future, or we keep Obama, and get $5 trillion more in cumulative deficits over the next 10 years. It sure sounds like a toss up.