compromise. Because evidently, in contrast with the political loudmouths and talking heads, American adults happen to understand the idea of adult compromise. They appreciate it when the President says that he is not willing to make Americans who are already hurting the collateral damage in a political fight with the Republicans. They understand that the American economy, while recovering, is still fragile, and that extending unemployment benefits are crucial. Not only because it's important for the economy (projected to create 600,000 jobs) but because over the next year, it will help some 7 million Americans who have lost their jobs for no fault of their keep a roof over their heads, pay their heating bills and put food on the table.
If you are looking for who got what, this was a true compromise. Look at the numbers again. Democrats and Republicans both got something they highly approve of, by about the same respective majorities. Democrats got unemployment extension, which they approve of by 84%, and Republicans got the tax extensions, which they approve of by 85% in this deal. But I think the Independent number is even more telling. Independents play a large role in deciding elections, and it should be telling that they support both parts of the deal - extending all the tax cuts for two years, and expanding unemployment benefits - by about the same margin (67% and 71%, respectively). They agree with the President not allowing ordinary Americans to become collateral damage. Perhaps that part about having all the tax cuts extended - which includes the tax cuts Obama gave to the middle class (extending the Earned Income Tax Credit, tax credits for tuition and the child tax credit) is the reason every group, including 52% of Democrats support the tax part of the deal.
This is a good deal for Americans, and it's the best that we could have gotten. Keep calling your Representatives and Senators and tell them to take the deal! The President was right: the more Democrats look at this deal, the more of them will come to the conclusion it makes sense (and you can help them - and the Republicans, of course)
I leave you with the President's words: