Ezra Klein says Democrats lose now but can win later.
Democrats will have their turn. On Dec. 31, 2012, three weeks before the end of President Barack Obama’s current term in office, the Bush tax cuts expire. Income tax rates will return to their Clinton-era levels. That amounts to a $3.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years, three or four times the $800 billion to $1.2 trillion in revenue increases that Obama and Speaker John Boehner were kicking around. And all Democrats need to do to secure that deal is…nothing.
This scenario is the inverse of the current debt-ceiling debate, in which inaction will lead to an outcome — a government default — that Democrats can’t stomach and Republicans think they can.
White House advisor Gene Sperling says the president sacrificed nothing.
“The president didn’t give one inch,” Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The president didn’t give one inch. the president made clear, while he was willing to compromise, he was not willing to allow anyone to hold our economy or government hostage by using the threat of default.”