Obama Won’t Compromise on “Tax Cuts”

Bad news.

Obama may have had the family planning pork removed from the stimulus bill, but he’s adamant that the welfare spending is non-negotiable. The “tax cuts” in dispute are being described by Republicans as “welfare through the tax code”.

In the meeting, Obama acknowledged a fundamental divide between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of a tax rebates for people at the lowest income level – Republicans complain that tax cuts for people who don’t pay income taxes amounts to “welfare through the tax code.”

House Republicans pelted Obama for more than 30 minutes with questions about deficits, taxes and spending, according to sources inside the private meeting. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), won applause from his GOP colleagues when he asked the president whether he would promise that the stimulus would not be an excuse to raise taxes or increase spending. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), asked Obama for common ground on taxes in the $825 billion package – and was rejected.

This is the redistribution that was promised. We can’t say we weren’t warned.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton Sounding Surprisingly Hawkish

I like what I’m hearing:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Israel had a right to defend itself and that Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza on the Jewish state could not go unanswered.

Clinton spoke as a fragile ceasefire ruptured between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza on the same day as President Barack Obama‘s special envoy George Mitchell arrived in the region to try and shore up the truce.

“We support Israel’s right to self-defense. The (Palestinian) rocket barrages which are getting closer and closer to populated areas (in Israel) cannot go unanswered,” Clinton said in her first news conference at the State Department.

The top U.S. diplomat, whose comments may be seen by some as giving Israel a green light to once again pound Gaza, accused Hamas of “offensive” action against the Israeli Defense Forces on the border.

“It is regrettable that the Hamas leadership apparently believes that it is in their interest to provoke the right of self-defense instead of building a better future for the people of Gaza,” said Clinton.

She’s sounding tougher than Condoleezza Rice, in fact, who through the years often called for “Israeli restraint”, and when the latest hostilities erupted, called for an immediate ceasefire. When the Ceasefire Resolution was brought to a vote at the UN Security Council, she abstained, explaining that,  “Washington agreed with the text and goals of the resolution but added: “The United States thought it important to see the outcomes of the Egyptian mediation efforts in order to see what this resolution might have been supporting.”

Hat tip: Lucianne