The conservative response to the tax deal between President Obama and the Republicans is interesting. I thought our response was positive initially, but some contrary voices are being heard. On the radio, I heard Mark Levin say that Republicans had caved in early. He would have been happy to see the tax rates go up on January 1 and revisit the issue in the new year.
Today, Charles Krauthammer has declared President Obama the unequivocal victor. I don't think I buy it.
First, the Republicans are not yet in position to cut spending. In January they can start cutting. Second, the president would not have granted a perpetual status quo on taxes. A two-year delay is perfect for the 2012 election (for Republicans, that is, who can campaign on making the tax rates permanent).
Third, the president erred in making the deal with Republicans before getting Democrats onside. Although it sounds awful, the best case would be for this deal to fail in Congress. Then we go into January with Republicans bringing it up again with a much stronger hand. It would also really poison the Democrats for 2012: The president fails to stop his own party from hiking taxes on January 1, 2011. What a weakling!