Obama Must Say No to 'Tax Cut Blackmail'

GOP closer to making 'irresponsible' cuts permanent: Paul Krugman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2010 12:30 PM CST
President Barack Obama looks back as he boards Air Force One, Monday, Dec., 6, 2010, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., prior to traveling to Winston-Salem, N.C.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – It’s time for President Obama to stand up against a GOP that wants to extend “obviously irresponsible” tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Keep in mind the big picture: Republicans want to make these cuts permanent, and if they agree to an extension, it's only because they plan to make them permanent when that extension is up. If Obama doesn’t "just say no" now, when will he?

Sure, there are drawbacks to allowing all the cuts to expire: The unemployment rate would be affected, but not in a major way—the Congressional Budget Office predicts a two-year extension of the cuts would only lower 2011's unemployment rate by between 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points. Far more dangerous is “giving in” to Republicans, writes Krugman. That would mean “savage cuts in federal spending” and “more demands” in the future. Obama should face down the GOP, and if they “hold out, and taxes go up, he should tell the nation the truth, and denounce the blackmail attempt for what it is.”

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