President Obama defended this tax plan with this, “I’ve said before that I felt that the middle-class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high-end tax cuts. I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage-takers, unless the hostage gets harmed. Then people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case, the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.”
At a time when the average American is really hurting financially. When millions of homes are being foreclosed upon. When there are 5 potential workers for every available job. When unemployment stands at 9.8%. That's not the time to draw a line in the sand and dare your opponents to cross it. That's the time to stand up, do what is right, and protect the interests of the working class. If that means you have to make concessions to the wealthy, that's apparently the price you pay in today's political environment.