A New Kind of Grand Bargain
Alex Pareene noticed this, too, but something I wanted to highlight is the fact that the president’s calling his new proposal — a cut to corporate tax rates in exchange for using the freed-up money to fund infrastructure and jobs programs — a grand bargain. As Pareene writes, this is actually a redefinition of the term:
In the usual “grand bargain,” liberals are supposed to cave on a major priority — spending on social insurance — in exchange for a conservative “centrist” priority — modest “tax reform” that, in the usual formulation, lowers rates. Obama will propose what is supposed to be a major conservative priority — cutting the corporate tax rate — in exchange for things that will actually help people[.]
It’s less appreciated now, because after more than four years it’s now evident that Team Obama is far from infallible, but there was a time, around four years ago, when one of Obama’s most celebrated rhetorical tricks was to redefine the center-left as the center. This latest grand bargain framing looks to me like a textbook example of that.