Even some Republicans, who have up to now been unanimous in their refusal to compromise with Democrats on anything, are beginning to wonder about the wisdom of the continued paralysis. The few mainstream Republicans who remain in Congress recognize that the latest debacle, the failure to pass even a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, is a disaster for the party. The public is clearly fed up with obstructionist tactics, and is now clearly blaming the GOP, as it should.
The next test of the administration is the huge bonuses due to Citi employees. Citi, as you may recall, was the recipient of tens of billions of taxpayer bailout money. One trader, Andrew J. Hall, is contractually due a $100 million bonus all by himself. Will Geithner, et al, have the courage to oppose these outrageous compensation packages, especially when they’re paid for with our money? In my fantasy, at least, the Obama administration extends its generous beer outreach to Wall Street. He can even make it a premium brew, in deference to the lifestyle these scoundrels are used to.