Here are some of the known trade-offs in the deal, although it should be said it is all subject to change until it's ratified by Congress and signed by Obama.
1) The Bush tax cuts for everybody will get extended for two years.
2) Refundable tax credits will be extended such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
3) Unemployment insurance gets extended for 13 months: Nothing however for the 99ers.
4) A 2 percent cut in payroll taxes paid by employees.
5) Business expensing: Businesses could deduct 100 percent of the cost of new investments.
6) It also includes a change to the Alternative Minimum Tax.
The truth is, emergency spending such as extending unemployment comp should have stood alone in Congress on an up-or-down vote. It should have never been part of the political deal.
The "temporary" tax breaks will additionally end up costing the Treasury an estimated $900 billion over the next two years since no offsets were mentioned to pay for them. The total package will eventually have to be financed by more borrowing from our grandchildren's lenders, either China or Saudi Arabia or both.
Russ Feingold Gets It Right Again
Sen. Feingold gets it right yet again when he voted against extending the tax cuts only for those earning $250,000 or less. Feingold's reason for voting "no" was because he believes they all should expire. Had we had more true fiscal hawks like Feingold in congress working on deficit reduction, the only trade-off left to justify the middle-class tax cuts would have been in the form of an offset elsewhere to pay for them. Instead, we not only get a continuation of the "deficits don't matter" Bush-Cheney trickle-down status quo economics, Obama capitulated and joined in with the same old Washington D.C. mentality to double-up future accumulating deficits under the guise of bipartisanship. Only a ship-of-fools would take what should have been a two-year $60 billion middle-class commitment and turn it into a $900 billion borrowing blow-out for billionaires and claim success.
Let them all expire.