Who got what

WHO GOT WHAT…. White House officials have been circulating a chart around Capitol Hill, offering a breakdown of the tax policy agreement, and since it’s better than mine, I thought I’d pass it along.


A few observations/caveats to note. First, in context, since the chart was prepared by the White House team, the “we” in “what we got” refers to Democrats, while “they” refers to Republicans. Second, the numbers only refer to disputed policies — the majority of the deal’s price tag covers tax breaks for those earning up to $250,000, which the vast majority of both parties endorsed. Third, some of these numbers might get tweaked even more, depending on what happens on the Hill in the coming days.

And finally, also note that these are projections, not guaranteed results, through 2012. The numbers could be better or worse defending on larger economic circumstances.

Having said all of that, it’s easy to see why the chart (click on it for a larger view) is popular at the White House. For all the assumptions about “caving” and “folding,” it’s not like Dems came out of these negotiations empty handed.

Though it doesn’t seem to come up as much as I thought it might, the question of why Republicans would go along with a plan like this is pretty easy to answer: the GOP really does prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy above all. These breaks are so important to them, they’ll accept a breakdown that allows that column on the left to be quite a bit higher than the one on the left.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.