How the President Passed a Second Stimulus

David Corn wrote a brilliant article detailing how, in 2012, the president managed to trick the Republicans into supporting a second stimulus -- simply by allowing the renewal of the Bush tax cuts.

The package would extend the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers for two years and would reduce estate taxes for the wealthy (a move many Democrats couldn't stand), but it also included a payroll tax cut, a child tax credit, additional unemployment insurance, renewable energy grants, and other stimulative measures. A White House chart noted that Obama had won $238 billion of stimulus in return for yielding on $114 billion in high-income tax cuts.

In a way, Obama had sacrificed a stand of principle to push a second stimulus through Congress and provide a much-needed boost to the economy.

Everyone who said the president "caved" on the Bush tax cuts owes the president an apology. By the way, here's what I wrote for The Huffington Post when the deal was announced in December, 2012.

  • rob black

    I got run off a few sites for defending him during this deal and at other times.
    I haven’t been to Kos in years.
    It amazed me that people who were making a living as political pundits and analysts, couldn’t see the long game being played right in front of their eyes.
    You would have thought they would have learned… by observing the strategies he employed to just getting elected in the first place.
    This guy knows how to deal, and how to make the other side pay. Boehner and Cantor have been utterly out matched every time they have gone up against him.

  • bphoon

    I thought–and said here, if I recall correctly–that President Obama duped the Republicans into giving away the store in exchange for one concession. I didn’t like having the Bush tax rates on the wealthy extended but I thought it was a helluva deal for the economy and I still do.

    In my opinion, purity concern trolling on the left is just a bad as purity concern trolling on the right. The only difference is that hard core leftists don’t have nearly the political clout in the Democratic Party as the Tea Partiers do in the Republican Party.

    Purity-insistent trolls in the left wing of the Democratic Party are certainly disconnected from reality where President Obama is concerned. They fashioned him as a reflection of themselves when, in fact, he is and always have been a left-of-center pragmatist. He believes in governing as opposed to full-time political posturing.

    Problem: when they pout and stay home during mid-term elections and convince enough people to do the same, Republicans get elected. Hence,2010.

  • Lazarus Durden

    It was because of that article I started visiting your website and not Huffington Post. That was also around the time the articles on HuffPo reached their Anti-Obama zenith. I watched the some on the Left lose their minds just two years after a historical election. I watched certain progressives pick up their ball and go home, and let the Tea Party gain power. I can remember being utterly disgusted with the so-called Left, and I thought “Now I remember why I hated Liberals when I was a conservative. They have no stomach for what it takes to win.” I got called an Obama-bot and lost fans for even trying to point out the reality of the deal, and why it was a good thing. Nope they wouldn’t hear of it.

    Even today I hate saying I’m a progressive. I’d rather be a Democrat, or even Liberal, or say the awkward phrase “Left of Center”. I’m sure some of these people care passionately about politics, but they are dangerously naive. When you have people advocating a Romney win because it’ll somehow equally more progressivism in the end then you’re not on my team.

    Tell me Wisconsin wouldn’t be better off with no Scott Walker, and Russ Feingold along with Tammi Baldwin in the Senate. Tell me Ohio wouldn’t be better off with a Democrat in the Gov.’s house. Or Florida. Tell me again how staying home accomplishes a damn thing, or has ever accomplished that.

    • Don Elliott

      Scott Walker in WI. Otherwise, yep.

      • Lazarus Durden

        Yes Scott Walker in WI. Rick Scott is the Gov. of Florida.

    • missliberties


      I was so naive about how much damage liberals have done to their own causes. This was really a shocking eye opener for me, that I will never ever forget.

      The progressive left has been their own worst enemy. They enabled the tea party victories because they couldn’t see past their noses. Hopefully these new insights as to the hard fought victories Obama won in spite of all the teeth gnashing will open their eyes as to how useless and destructive their purity trolling is.

  • Don Elliott

    er, 2010?