Well — looking back at the developments in DC this past week — we learned that we cannot count on John Boehner, Richard Burr, Howard Coble, or Renee Ellmers to help take our country off its current collision course with economic catastrophe. Apparently, getting home for Christmas is more important than saving the country.
BarryO was demanding a two-month “payroll tax cut” to provide “middle class tax relief.” Of course, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Richard Burr rolled over like good lapdogs and gave the architect of our current economic mess EXACTLY what he wanted. House Speaker John Boehner and his team talked tough for a little while, demanding a one year tax cut. When a few negative news articles came out, and Christmas started getting closer, Boehner and the boys caved and gave BarryO exactly what he wanted.
That was kind of like folding in poker when you have four aces. Boehner & co. had the full wrath and fury of The Tea Party behind them, as well as the mandate they were handed by the voters in November 2010. People are suffering out here — begging for substantial relief from taxes and government. Never mind that the two-month extension is little more than an extra hassle for employers at the dawn of the new year. Never mind that this “tax cut” will have ZERO effect on helping the economy recover. (It will actually set up a fight on tax increases and deficit spending just down the road.) This whole thing was little more than a political chess game played out between two sides more concerned with their press clippings and poll numbers than ACTUALLY doing what needs to be done.
Rush — as usual — hit the nail on the head with his commentary this week on this kerfluffle:
[…] Real pressure, folks, once again the freshman Republicans and the House leadership, they’re very nervous. The entire political establishment is aligned against them, which means the entire political establishment is aligned against congressional conservatives. The Senate Republicans, the Wall Street Journal editorial, the Democrat establishment, the Democrats in the Senate, the Democrats in the House, they are all lined up, and over this one thing: Whether or not we’re gonna have this payroll tax cut for two months or for a year.
And the Wall Street Journal is afraid that the Republicans holding out for a full year instead of two months, which is what everybody else wants, is gonna make it look like to voters that the Republicans don’t care about tax cuts for the middle class, that thus Obama is going to be able to steal and purloin the issue and going into a campaign year Obama is gonna be the guy that looks like the big tax cutter, stealing the issue from the Republicans and, oh, woe is us, so worried about this.
In the meantime, the substance of this issue is being totally ignored at the expense of playing the political game. So what is apparent to me — and I shall detail this as the program unfolds — what’s apparent to me is that the view that you and I have about the country and its perilous state right now is not shared. We know by the Democrat establishment. Continuing evidence is that the Republican establishment does not really see the country threatened or imperiled. This is just the latest political cycle. Democrats happened to win last time, it’s gonna be our turn soon, it’s nothing really out of the ordinary here. Seventeen trillion national debt, ah, no different than five trillion. The president, the White House is waging war on the middle class, “Ah, not that big a deal, Mr. Limbaugh, we’ll fix all this when we get our turn back.”
In the meantime the substance of this issue, this payroll tax cut, FICA, Social Security, what’s actually being done here, what it actually means, and the substantive reason to not let Obama win this, to not let the Democrats win this, to insist on this being for a full year is being lost. In fact, what this is is even being lost. On the one hand, they tell us that Social Security is not really a tax, right? It’s a deduction, it’s a contribution. This is simply citizens paying into their own retirement, and they’ll get the money back, it’s not a tax. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a tax. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a tax cut. No, it’s the only mechanism for funding Social Security that there is. The Democrat president — see, if we had a team that was on offense rather than trying to defend something, if we had a team that was on offense what we’d be doing is making the point that a Democrat president is trying to underfund senior citizens’ retirement.
I don’t know about you, but as a Republican I’m sick and tired of being told all my life that I want to kick old people out of their houses and that I want them to eat dog food, and that I don’t care about their health care or any of that, that I want to cut their Social Security. That lie has been around for as long as I can remember. Well, now look what’s happening. The only funding mechanism is being underfunded by $250 to $500 billion a year by the Democrat president, and nobody talks about that. No, we get caught up here in, “Oh, gosh, oh, gosh, Obama, Obama is gonna get away with a tax cut idea, we’re gonna have it stolen from us, oh, no, no, no.” Meanwhile, Romney was on O’Reilly last night. He refuses to call Obama a socialist. He says he’s in over his head. He won’t call him a socialist. And that’s nothing. Imagine asking Romney to call him a Marxist. So it’s coalescing here, what we face and where we are. […]