The following is from Citizens for Tax Justice and is an excellent summary of what happened and why:
CTJ Statement on the Debt Ceiling Deal: President Obama Breaks His Promise on Taxes AgainRead the full statement. (PDF)
The so-called “Budget Control Act” that President Obama signed into law today to increase the federal debt ceiling and reduce the federal budget deficit marks the second time the Obama administration has capitulated on tax policy to the most extreme elements in Congress, those who are least in touch with the American people and most willing to risk economic disaster to get their way.
While our political leaders should be doing all they can to boost consumer demand and create jobs, the administration and Congress have instead agreed to slash public services without guaranteeing any increase in revenue.
To be sure, a revenue increase could result from the process established under this deal, despite Republicans’ claims to the contrary. But anti-tax lawmakers have already demonstrated that they will risk everything — including economic catastrophe — to block any and all revenue increases. As a result, we believe the only hope for a balanced approach depends on President Obama finding the courage (which he has lacked so far) to allow all of the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012.