The New York Times sees in President Obama’s rollover to Republicans on tax cuts a plan to govern the next two years with a changed Congress. I think it could more correctly be called the Republican plan to govern — give Democrats nothing until Obama says he’ll accept whatever the Republicans demand. What, really, did Repubs give up in this compromise? Extended unemployment benefits? Would the GOP contingent really have gone to the mat to punish people who are out of work? On second thought …

I see the deal includes the Republican-Blanche Lincoln estate tax plan — protection for $5 million of a single person and $10 million of a married couple’s assets and a top tax rate of 35 percent, down from a rate that topped previously at 55 percent for amounts over $3 million. This is a multi-billion-dollar tax cut for the richest people in America, many of them sitting on fortunes built through appreciated inherited assets on which they’ve paid no taxes and expended no sweat. (And where they do have income from dividends and interest on their riches, they pay a lower income tax rate than people who work for a living.)


UPDATE: As usual, Ernest Dumas, the sage of Champagnolle, sees this “compromise” for what it is — a clear illustration of a broken system. Read on for an early release of his column this week.