If Barack Obama had his way, taxes would be up across the board. Most obviously for the job creators in the form of higher marginal income tax rates, but also for everyone in the form of a health care mandate, energy taxes, increases in capital gains and dividend taxes, and various regulatory costs (such as cap-and-trade) passed on to consumers.
Against Obama’s will, Republicans have forced Obama to become a tax cutter, as the cost of not raising taxes on job creators and investors.
The “framework” of the deal to prevent Obama from getting his wish to raise taxes includes some modest tax breaks for middle-income earners, such as a temporary decrease in payroll taxes (i.e., social security). These tax decreases were Obama’s idea, to justify why he caved in to the Republicans.
The fact that Obama was brought to cutting taxes kicking and screaming will be forgotten. The fact that Obama didn’t really want any tax decreases but only used them as a face-saving device will be forgotten.
Obama has grabbed the mantle of tax cutter.
All in all, I think Obama had a pretty good day.