The Democrats and the Backbone Question
Quantum Teleportation

The Democrats and the Backbone Question, Part 2

The Democrats caved in yesterday to the spend & don't tax Bush administration:

NYT: Deal in Congress to Keep Tax Cuts, Widening Deficit

Putting aside efforts to control the federal deficit before the elections, Republican and Democratic leaders agreed Wednesday to extend $145 billion worth of tax cuts sought by President Bush without trying to pay for them.

At a House-Senate conference committee, Democratic lawmakers abandoned efforts to pay for the measures by either imposing a surcharge on wealthy families or closing corporate tax shelters.

"I wish we could pay for them, but this is a political problem and we have people up for re-election,'' said Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. "If you have to explain that you voted for these tax cuts because they benefit the middle class and against them because of the deficit, you've got a problem.''

Fearful of being attacked as supporters of higher taxes, Democrats said they would go along with an unpaid five-year extension of the $1,000 child tax credit; a four-year extension of tax breaks intended to reduce the so-called marriage penalty on two-income families; and a six-year extension of a provision that allowed more people to qualify for the lowest tax rate of 10 percent.

Senator John Kerry , their party's presidential nominee, has said he supports extension of the tax reductions, though he would roll back Mr. Bush's tax cuts for the top 2 percent of income earners, families with annual incomes above $200,000. . . .

The result of the reversal on the part of the Democrats and the Republican moderates is likely to be a tax measure that will last longer and increase federal deficits more than a two-year extension that Republican Senate leaders offered this summer. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that debt will climb by $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years, and that making all Mr. Bush's tax cuts permanent would cost an additional $1.9 trillion by the end of 2014.

Spineless beyond belief. Just spineless.

While opening the mail this morning, I discovered that the Democratic party's September fundraising campaign is called the "Don't Yeild an Inch" Campaign. Someone forgot to tell congress.

UPDATE: This evening's AP story, which frames the tax cut as a cut for the middle class, also includes the alarming sentence:

The tax package also includes provisions to extend 23 expiring tax breaks, generally for one year, at a cost of $12.97 billion.
Note that this is the figure for ONE YEAR, whereas the earlier figures are calculated for a cost over ten years. Bloomberg has more details on the specifics.