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Congressional Republicans Must Show They Care About Middle America With Payroll Tax Issue

December 19, 2011

The gamesmanship in Washington all for the purpose of political points is not making many friends among the voters.  The polling results show that approval of Congress ranks somewhere just below diphtheria.  That seems not to faze the ones who seem to willingly embrace the heated rhetoric and bombastic tactics to score a point.  It might be noted by Speaker Boehner that even Tim Tebow can only push the envelope so far.  There is a time to reckon with reality.

While I agree with those who say that tax policy should not be crafted for two month runs, I also know from following the back-and-forth in Washington that the end result could have been different had the Democrats a credible and reliable partner in the other party with which to work alongside.  That has not been the case for many years, and a primary reason we are again at the impasse over the payroll tax issue.

The line is clear.

The Senate passed an extension to run until early next year, and are now out of session.  The House thinks that partisan brinkmanship is the best way to act leading up to the Holidays.  They consist of a party that truly feels that a payroll tax cut enacted last year was not the proper way to proceed, and that the benefits of such a cut did nothing for the economy.

Senate Majority Leader Reid minced no words.  He was plain-spoken to the point that even a Republican could understand.

“My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unem ployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians.”

Congressional Republicans are seeking ways to pay for the payroll tax cut, though totally rejected any notion in the past that the revenue heavy Bush tax cuts should in any way be balanced with cuts.  That the Republicans look out for the wealthy, and continually screw the middle class and poor is not news.  That they even do it so blatantly at Christmas is not even news. 

That they think they can get away with this is what gets me deep down.

This time the GOP may have to buckle.

From CNN

Speaker John Boehner said Monday morning that he expects the House to reject the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut bill that the Senate approved on Saturday.

Boehner also said he expects the House to pass legislation reinforcing the need for a one-year extension and wants the matter to be taken up by a House-Senate conference committee.

A Senate Democratic aide told CNN that the chances were “zero” that the Senate would return to Washington from its holiday recess to continue negotiating with the House on the issue.

The payroll tax cut extension expires at the end of the year and is worth roughly $1,000 a year for an average family.

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