Or...why this is a good deal...
Math below the fold...
So the current deal as I understand it basically boils down to two key points:
Democrats give in on the family threshold from $250k to $450k
Republicans agree to extend unemployment benefits for 2.1 Million Americans for one more year
What this means is rich folks will see a 6% tax hike on all income above $450k instead of $250k. This will save them 6% on $200,000 or $12,000 per year.
In other words, a family making $1 Million per year will see their taxes go up by $33,000 instead of the $45,000 the President wanted. This is an increase in taxes, not their total tax bill.
A family making $5 Million per year will see their taxes go up by $273,000 instead of $285,000 as the President wanted.
In exchange, 2.1 Million Americans will see their unemployment benefits extended for all of 2013.
I understand the psychological arguments about 'caving' and setting ourselves up for whatever future evil the Republicans have in mind.
But for today, I take that deal.
Seriously, I take it, and deal with the rest later. There is no leverage that I can see for extending these vital unemployment benefits if we go off the cliff. The pragmatic progressive in me says get these unemployed people their money today, and get back that $12,000 per rich dude in some other way tomorrow.
My 2 cents.