Obama's Brilliant 2010 Lame Duck Deal
Posted at 11 a.m. on Nov. 27, 2012
Matthew Yglesias points out that while President Obama was criticized for “weak bargaining” in the wake of the 2010 midterm elections, that deal turns out to have strengthened Obama’s bargaining power on the “fiscal cliff” and provided some policy wins to boot.
“Obama secured a deal that extended the middle-class tax cuts (which he and the GOP agreed on), extended UI benefits, created a stimulative payroll tax holiday, cleared the legislative decks for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal and the passage of the New START arms-control treaty, and in exchange he gave up nothing of any real substance. Republicans got two more years’ worth of high-end tax cuts at a time when deficit reduction wouldn’t have helped the economy.”
“Whatever formal leverage he had two years ago still exists today, except now he gets to play that leverage from a somewhat stronger economic and political context. It’s totally solid legislative dealmaking and not any kind of cave-in or surrender.”