Robert Reich was on with Lawrence O’Donnell, and I think he has seriously lost his mind. Smiling like a jackass eating thistles, he said that he thinks Democrats are in a “very strong negotiating position” because they can merely threaten to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012.
There are two problems with that. O’Donnell pointed out one of them, namely that it would cause the bottom tax rate to increase from 10% to 15%, a 50% tax increase on people with the lowest incomes, while the top rate went from 33% to 39% meaning a tax increase of only 18% for the rich. The idiotic smile on Reich’s face never wavered and the consequences of O’Donnell’s comment appear to have gone over his head.
The other problem is, of course, that if Democrats try to do that the 2012 budget will never pass at all, and if you think avoiding this shutdown was difficult just wait until you the battle that would erupt over that little move.
Reich than babbled on about how Democrats “are in a strong position to introduce,” and listed off several progressive tax policies, a couple of which Obama mentioned in his speech. Many of them are things that I would indeed like to see implemented, but anyone that thinks that they are going to happen is deranged. How Reich thinks that Democrats are “in a very strong position to introduce” them is beyond me, given that Republicans control the house of Congress which is charged with initiating all revenue bills. O’Donnell never challenged his premise or asked why he thought the position of the Democrats was so strong.
This is the same guy who suggested that Obama should start a (then) third foreign war, in this case with England, by placing BP into receivership by executive order until the Gulf of Mexico was cleaned up.