I think that compromise is important in the presidency. This is not a bad thing. Promises made before a person is actually in office should be taken lightly. Until a person is actually in the office, there is no way to know the whole situation. This is true of any office, but especially the presidency.
Despite his background as a community organizer, I don't think President Obama has been much of a compromiser in Washington. He has had a clear and forceful agenda, and he has pushed it through quite forcefully. On the other side, Republicans determined to stand as a brick wall against nearly everything he proposed; but he had the numbers on his side and the agenda moved forward. What that has created is a nation of people weary of a whole lot of things, as outlined above. If the President does not compromise, he is not likely to be President for long.
I'm with Mwestwood. I thought Obama would never change stances on anything after watching healthcare get pushed through with such great effort and political maneuvering. If he doesn't move a little to the center, he will make himself a little unelectable. Certainly all in this nation do not agree with each other, but the beauty of a two-party system is compromise, and deciding which issues are worth dying for, even if the suicide is only political.
Bottom line: Government officials are all politicos. There is another election coming up in two years, of course, and this election must be considered. So, since the middle class is extremely disgruntled, there may be a need to placate it.
It is going to be very hard for him not to instigate any tax cuts given the general economic situation. He is placed in a very difficult situation where perhaps he is not able to do what is best in the long-term because of his short-term popularity. A difficult balance to achieve.
I think he is in a position where he is going to have to consider compromising on tax cuts. The latest election results show that the people are not satisfied with what is currently happening in Washington.
When David Axelrod suggested in an interview one evening some days ago that the President might agree to a temporary extension of tax cuts for the upper 2% bracket, reaction was almost instantaneous. The Internet just exploded. The intense anger expressed by millions of Americans across the country has given the administration and Democratic Congressmen pause, and that's an understatement.
Yesterday it was announced that Democrats in the House will introduce legislation now to extend the middle-class tax cuts and let the upper-end tax cuts expire on schedule. This surely reflects a strong backlash against the idea of compromising on this particular issue. The President cannot agree to extending these tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and ballooning the national debt even further, without risking severe political consequences. It's hard to defend the extension when even Warren Buffett says it is the wrong thing to do.
I, too, think that he will compromise. I think that the Republican leaders' "scheduling" issues which caused the meeting with the President to be postponed for later is simply a stalling tactic by the proponents of renewing the tax cuts. They're technically in the driver's seat right now and are most likely thinking that the President knows that he has to compromise some. I don't think that the cuts will be made permanent across the board, but I do think that the President will end up compromising on a renewal of all the tax cuts (including those for people making over $250,000/yr) for four years or a similar period of time.
I don't think he can help but cave. The message of the last election is not crystal clear, but it really seems like one of the messages was that people don't like the level of taxation, especially in light of what it is being spent on. That's what I see the Tea Party's major message as -- don't tax us to bail out big business and to impose regulations like the health care reform.
When you take the fact that the GOP controls the House (and is already extremely sympathetic to the idea that the tax cuts must stay), it's either going to be keep the cuts or shut down the government, I think.
I don't think there's enough sentiment for repealing the high end of the tax cut to make it worth it for Obama to fight for that.
Most likely. He is a compromiser by nature. Republicans like Eric Cantor in the House have said they will not compromise, which I would say is more likely. What neither Obama nor tax cut proponents want is for no agreement to be in place at all, and for all tax cuts to expire. What no one has explained is how we will afford them, and some fiscal conservatives, especially those recently elected, are also deficit hawks. Keeping tax cuts for everyone will add $2 trillion to future deficits, while keeping tax cuts for the wealthy--those earning over $250,000 per year--will add $700 billion to the long term deficit. Whatever the compromise is, I'm interested in hearing how deficit hawks will counter the fiscal impact of these cuts. Seems the only option is deep cuts in spending.