THURSDAY HOT READ: REALITY BITES
Reality strikes. Barack Obama spurned the advice of columnists Paul Krugman and Katrina vanden Heuvel and agreed with Republicans to extend the current income tax rates -- the so-called Bush tax cuts -- for another two years.
He got a few things in return, primarily extended unemployment benefits for another 13 months, and agreed as well to a 2 percent cut in the Social Security payroll tax.
But he recognized the reality that in order to prevent a tax increase on those with incomes under $250,000 he had to prevent a tax increase on those over that line, as well.
This has infuriated liberal Democrats like outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but they share some of the blame themselves. They probably could have passed their version of the tax bill earlier this year, before the economic recovery stalled in the spring.
But with the economy faltering, there's a strong argument against raising anyone's taxes -- strong enough to have persuaded many congressional Democrats.