President Obama's tax deal

Monday, December 13, 2010; 12:30 AM

Before the midterm elections, my Republican neighbors were fond of asking me, as a liberal Democrat, whether I was happy with President Obama. Instead of saying no, as they expected, I said yes because it takes time to effect the changes I want. To the same question today, my response would be absolutely not. I don't foresee any improvement during Mr. Obama's final two years in office.

The compromise between the Republicans and the president on extending the Bush-era tax cuts ["Obama and GOP strike tax accord," front page, Dec. 7] cannot be allowed to go through. We can't afford to add so much to the national debt, which is already out of control. In addition, the proposed 2-percentage-point cut in payroll taxes through the end of next year needs careful examination to determine its long-term effect on the Social Security system. Social Security is vital to working and retired Americans, and changes to it must ensure its long-term viability.

I much prefer a "do-nothing Congress" to one that caves in to Republican demands. Liberal Democrats must use the filibuster in the Senate the way the Republicans have for the past two years.

Jim Beller, Rockville


"Obama and GOP strike tax accord" and "President extends olive branch to GOP" were Dec. 7's front-page news. How sad for all of us that these decisions were not based on the best interests of the country. Both decisions stemmed from senior administration officials "poring over returns, exit polls and midterm history." Surely there are experts who could have recommended what should have been done based upon the best interests of the country instead of the best interests of the party.

Joel L. Kristal, Rockville


President Obama's capitulation to a Republican bluff ranks him just behind Richard M. Nixon as a betrayer of the voters who elected him. Apparently, Mr. Obama reached this $700 billion "compromise" with an eye on his 2012 reelection, an obscene twist on the concept of public financing of elections. He has written the clarion call of his second inaugural: Ask not what the wealthy can do for their country; ask what their country can do for the wealthy.

David W. La Voy, Cheverly


After reading the Dec. 8 editorial "A deal worth doing," all I could think was that The Post could not be so naive as to believe that four moves that will increase spending - extending all of the Bush tax cuts, cutting the payroll tax, extending unemployment benefits and offering a generous deal on the estate tax - represent a "pivot to the harder work of long-term deficit reduction."

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