Bennet to Support Obama-GOP Tax Plan

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a move that will no doubt cause a stir among the newly elected Senator’s supporters as well as his vocal detractors, The Ft. Collins Coloradoan’s Bob Moore reports:

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet will support a tax-cut compromise put together by President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders, even though he said the package was flawed.

“The bottom line is simple and straightforward. These tax cuts will expire in less than four weeks,” Bennet said in a statement Wednesday. “If we do nothing, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans will see a tax increase and thousands more will lose their unemployment benefits. That is unacceptable.”

Despite his tough rhetoric on the campaign trail on the budget deficit, Bennet will vote for the plan that, if passed, will add $900 billion to the Federal debt. Despite that apparent flip flop, this move shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to close observers, as Bennet had been saying during the campaign that he supported a one year temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts for all earners as a compromise.

Bennet’s vote will be cancelled out by Colorado’s senior Senator Mark Udall, who came out against the plan yesterday by saying it “makes no sense”.


30 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. c rork says:

    Can you take over the messaging for the Democratic party?  

      • c rork says:

        Lets say that you were in Michael Bennet’s position. You’ve got 4 weeks until the Bush tax cuts expire and unemployment has already expired for millions. Stimulus dollars are coming to a close.

        Its easy for us as observers, but what would you do?

        • (((JADodd)))jadodd says:

          This is not the only choice just the spin from Obama and Bennet.

          Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated that the Republicans would eventually give in on the unemploymnet benefits.  It might require that the Senate stay in session through Christmas day, but they would eventually capitulate as they always have.

          The tax issues can be resolved after the first of the year.  Of course, that requires the Democrats to exhibit the same kind of party discipline that the Republicans have.

  2. MADCO says:

    HMan- RSB – can you pay up for the election results?

  3. Rainidog says:

    Still doesn’t make me happy, and I’m going to tell him I don’t want to hear a lot of whining about the deficit hereafter.

    And ask him what he thinks about this:

    But what about the stimulative effect of the upper-income, as opposed to lower-income, tax cuts? How big will it be? Mike Konczal points us to research on this subject by the Congressional Budget Office. In September, the CBO found that those $100 billion in tax cuts on income above $250,000 would reduce unemployment in 2011 and 2012 by…somewhere between 0.1% and nothing at all.

    • nancycronknancycronk says:

      but no one can be surprised by this move. Bennet has always been a close ally to the President and can be counted on to vote with him the vast majority of the time. Why do you think Obama wanted him re-elected so badly?

      • c rork says:

        It is hard to reconcile this position with a desire to reduce the debt.

        That said, if you truly care about the American people, it has got to be hard to sit by and watch as unemployment checks end for millions of families.

        • nancycronknancycronk says:

          You and I both heard him say many times, in person, the Bush tax cuts need to be repealed. This must rub you the wrong way, too, doesn’t it?

          I’m all for extending unemployment benefits. I understand there were deals made behind closed doors. I’m disappointed this fight wasn’t more public. It’s not just the ends that matter; it is the means.

          I still support President Obama and Senators Bennet and Udall. They get it right far more often than they get it wrong, by my standards. Still, this was a bitter pill to swallow.  

          • c rork says:

            the House D’s have rejected this deal (which I think is awesome, BTW), we’ll just have to see what emerges.

            It DOES rub me the wrong way because I don’t agree with the compromise.

  4. Bondo says:

    It’s economic growth. The deficit only matters as a % of GDP so getting the economy going is more important than current year deficit reduction. Bennet proves once again why I think he is a fantastic Senator. He fights for important things but doesn’t play to the shrill, myopic left.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      I agree that economic growth is one of the keys to getting out of this mess.

      But this legislation will not do that. Tax cuts have little to no impact on economic growth. This bill has a couple of good things in it, but the majority of the money is just being poured down a rathole.

        • redstateblues says:

          I see the link to the information I already posted in this diary as background as to why this shouldn’t be surprising. Do you have a link to your psychic prediction about Obama’s plan that he worked out with the GOP? I’d love to see that link, so we could figure out why it is I’m not giving you credit for having reported on it 4 weeks ago.

          • jpsandscl says:

            not Obama. Wade is right he wrote about it long ago. And with the abuse he gets here, not surprised he didn’t cross-post here as he often does,

            • redstateblues says:

              Wade puts up with the same amount that he dishes out. And you’re wrong about him cross-posting it here. He did, and it wasn’t news then either. In the comments, you’ll see people who were saying that Bennet had already staked out this position during the debates and in speeches and town halls. It’s the same damn thing I said in my diary:

              Bennet had been saying during the campaign that he supported a one year temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts for all earners as a compromise.

              What was new–and contrary to Wade’s supposition, was in fact news–was Bennet’s position on Obama’s tax plan, which as I was trying to say in my response to Wade, didn’t exist on November 9th.

              Considering Udall’s opposition to it was a front page diary yesterday, I thought it was worth posting one about Bennet’s position too.

              Don’t buy in to Wade’s narcissism, JPS. To him, this diary was about neither Obama nor Bennet.

              • nancycronknancycronk says:

                He never said he was in favor of extending the Bush Tax Cuts. In fact, he said exactly the opposite many times — they should be repealed to lower the deficit. I was pretty shocked when I heard he was changing his tune a couple months ago. I chalk it up to his close relationship with Obama. I suspect this is all about strategy, rather than principle.

                C Rork can back me up with this one.  

                • redstateblues says:

                  but it was what he was saying at the end of the campaign. I didn’t mean to portray it as something he had been saying on the stump in 2009. He flipped on the tax cuts, and he flipped on the debt.

                  At any rate, his position on the Obama tax plan as it was formulated this past week is indeed news.

                • nancycronknancycronk says:

                  He consistently said they should be repealed for those making over $250K, until the last couple of months, when he changed his tune. I have heard the Obmama rationale from OFA, but have not seen much of an explanation from Camp Bennet. I hope he explains himself soon. This doesn’t help progressives warm up to him at all.

                  That said, I still trust he has my best interests at heart. Just not sure about the strategy.

    • khmeck says:

      Since Republicans were going to block anything, related or not, until all the tax cuts were extended atleast temporarily, Obama had these two choices to pick from:

      a) harm the economy a lot by letting middle-class cuts expire, and also get nothing done on any other front and also look like he broke a campaign promise.

      b) harm the economy less by continuing the cuts–but throwing away money into rich people’s pockets, and probably spend a week debating it so you get nothing else done anyway.

      No one in Obama’s base is raving about those choices, and many are blaming him for a bad deal. However, that was the hand he was dealt. By taking the initiative, Obama created a third option:

      c) agree to b), except also stimulate the economy (admittedly only a little) with unemployment extensions and an EITC boost and so on, and do it in exchange for speeding up the debate between a) and b) even though that debate would almost surely have ended in b) anyway, thereby gaining time for your other bills in the lame-duck.  

    • butterfly says:

      more positive than negative about the plan.

      Now if the congress can put aside their egos and pass it.

      Once again, there are people complaining but they have no other concrete suggestions about what to do or how to get it passed AND they are not concerned about needing unemployment.  A pretty motley crew!

      It is interesting how some people can say that the President should have gotten more out of the negotiation but in almost the same breath say that he got more than anyone expected!

      Curious indeed!

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        and throwing the public option overboard.

        Just like keeping Guantanamo Bay open and surging troops into Afghanistan.

        This president is a helpless man who can’t actually affect positive change for a progressive agenda.  He just isn’t up to the challenge of confronting Republicans and their rich overlords.

      • (((JADodd)))jadodd says:

        President Obama and the Republicans will say that the payroll tax holiday is all about stimulating the economy. But don’t be fooled. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,extending the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, is a much better, more targeted stimulus. See “Payroll Tax Holiday a Poor Stimulus Idea,” available at this link –….

        Republicans will never agree to increase the payroll tax.

        Ryan Grim at Huffington post asked the exact right questions, and Republicans were unusually blunt with him.

        Republicans acknowledged that the expiration of the tax holiday will be treated as a tax increase. “Once something like this goes into place, a year from now, when it expires, it’ll be portrayed as a tax increase,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). “So in a body like Congress, precedents matter and this is setting a precedent. I think that certainly is going to create some problems down the road if it passes.”

        Given that Congress, under Democratic control, can’t gather itself to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, members of both parties are convinced that letting the payroll tax rate revert back to its current spot will be near impossible.

        “Once you bring a rate down, if it goes back up, people will feel that. They’ll feel their paycheck being less and that argument” – that letting it expire amounts to a tax hike – “eventually is bound to be made,” said Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.).

        “There’s always a tendency to continue those things… Once something comes in, it’s very difficult to change it,” said Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio.) He then volunteered, without prompting, that “It would be detrimental to the Social Security system, especially when it’s in bad shape.”

        Nancy Altman called the payroll tax cut in the Obama/McConnell deal the end of Social Security.  Her detailed analysis appears at

  5. Rainidog says:

    From Faros Special Report On The Severe Consequences Of The “Build America Bond” Program Expiration

    …Today’s tax compromise in the US extended all expiring Bush tax cuts by two years.  The story though does not end here.  The most important thing missing from the tax extension was the expected extension of the Build America Bond program.  The Build America Bond program has been the municipal market’s saviour over the past 18 months.  Since their introduction in April 2009 more than 174 Bio USD of taxable securities have been sold by municipalities backed by the program, one where the US pays 35% of the interest due on the debt.


    On a day when the market focussed on the Budget vote in Ireland, a country that makes up about 1.8% of Europe’s GDP, we are concerned that no one is looking at the growing problems in New York, California and Illinois, three states that comprise 25% of the US GDP.  The expiration of the Build America Bond program could prove to be a terrible price for the US to pay and we expect squabbles in the US Congress regarding the bailing out of States in 2011 that could easily rival that which we have witnessed from the European Union over Ireland and Greece.

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