Thursday, December 09, 2010

Jane Harman: Supporting Obama-GOP "Compromise" Deal

Jane Harman is on board with Obama's attempted fait-accompli with Republicans.

From her website:
HARMAN STATEMENT ON OBAMA TAX CUTS PACKAGE
December 7, 2010 2:16 PM

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Jane Harman (CA-36) today issued the following statement on the tax cuts package announced yesterday by President Obama:

“While there are some elements of the plan that I deeply dislike, I embrace the tax cuts package announced yesterday by President Obama. The 13-month extension of unemployment insurance is particularly important.

Simply put, if Democrats and Republicans are going to work together – and I believe that was the message sent by the American people in November – then we have to start working together.

“I oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans, and have voted against them three times, most recently last week. It is simply wrong to provide such a break given the deficit implications and while millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table. In a perfect world, I would strike this provision from the package.

But politics is about the art of the possible, and it’s important for Democrats to give the President the room to compromise. Voters clearly expect some bipartisan and bicameral cooperation – and it needs to start now.
First off, I italicized several parts of that statement where she's scolding Democrats to let Obama compromise and that in the name of bipartisanship they must accept a deal that includes: 1) Everything on the Republicans' wish list: Continued tax cuts for incomes above $250K, Estate tax reduced even further to 35% to further shift wealth to the uber-rich, defunding Social Security through a payroll tax cut. 2) wants to feed him, which comes from letting Republicans tell him what they will give him (nothing). Keep in

OK, let's look at what it is she's hanging her hat on to support this. From Calculated Risk Blog: 1) Unemployment benefits extension. Sounds good. But this is not what it appears:
Just to be clear, the "extension of the unemployment benefits" is an extension of the qualifying dates for the various tiers of benefits, and not additional weeks of benefits. There is no additional help for the so-called "99ers".

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) comes in four tiers:
Tier I is for 20 additional weeks;
Tier II is for up to 14 weeks;
Tier III is for up to 13 weeks;
Tier IV is for up to 6 weeks.

As an example, if a worker was receiving Tier I benefits, they will be able to move to Tier II benefits with this proposed extension. Without the extension of the qualifying dates, workers would not be able to move to the next tier. [...] To repeat: this extension doesn't add additional weeks of benefits; it keeps the above structure in place for an additional 13 months.
So those who've maxed out don't get any additional unemployment and are left to fend for themselves. This is being sold as if it takes care of everyone - it doesn't.

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