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Wall Street Journal Editorial Rips Boehner and McConnell?

The Huffington Post’s reporting that the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has attacked congressional Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members for possibly losing the payroll tax cut standoff to President Barack Obama.

The Editorial began recounting how GOTP Senate leader Mitch McConnell “famously said a year ago his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.”

Earlier this week GOTP House members killed the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and a provision avoiding Medicare payment cuts to doctors by a 229-193 vote. The Senate had voted by an 89-10 margin to extend all three for two months. All three provisions expire on 1 Jan 12. GOTP House members want the Senate to return and negotiate over a compromise plan but Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he won’t negotiate until the House approves the Senate’s package.

Finally Senator Reid has shown some back bone against the Tea Party conservatives across the aisle; what’s even better about this situation is McConnell had clearly struck a deal with Reid, and Boehner has to have been part of it as well but then his Tea Party compatriots cut his knees out from under him led by Eric Cantor.

The conservative editorial board wrote that the GOTP has “thoroughly botched the politics.” The board also added that Obama’s in a “stronger re-election position today than he was a year ago.”

After 1 Jan 12, the payroll tax paid by workers will rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent and benefits for the long-term unemployed will expire if Congress doesn’t pull its head out of its collective fourth point of contact. Doctors will also face a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements scheduled to take effect on 18 Jan 12.

The icing on the cake for the President is that 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain of Arizona showed his approval of the editorial tweeting, “WSJ is right on the mark here.”

When the smoke clears from this latest GOTP catastrophe, the President will once again come out on top, John Boehner may find himself stepping down as Speaker, and the Tea Party will come out as having attempted one bridge too far; come 2012 the bill will come due and local Congressional Districts will likely toss the riff raff out turning the House back to a Democratic majority. The Tea Party’s angry white guy shtick only plays so far and they’ve been on stage well past their collective curtain call.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Taxes

 

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No tax extension for you!

Once more, the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members of Congress have proven who they work for, and it’s not the American people, at least not the 99% who aren’t uber rich. The Senate failed to pass an extension of a payroll tax cut, leaving in limbo a break that saved working class households about $1,000 a piece this year.

According to the Huffington Post, while Democrats sought to extend and expand the break, while paying for it with a 3.25 percent surtax on incomes over $1 million, just one Senate Republican, Maine’s Susan Collins, voted for the middle class break, which died 51 to 49 in an unsuccessful effort to end a Republican filibuster.

“I am extremely disappointed that Republicans’ insistence on protecting millionaires from paying a penny more in taxes has blocked our effort to extend and expand the payroll tax cut for millions of middle class families and small business owners,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

One bright shining silver lining in this dark cloud is that moments after defeating the Democratic plan a GOTP version of the measure was blocked not only by Democrats but by a majority of the GOTP senators too.

Why did Democrats oppose it? Well for starters it was too small of a break — and it was supposedly going to be paid for on the backs of 200,000 federal workers who would be handed pink slips.

“Tonight’s votes highlight a sharp contrast between the two parties: Democrats voted to put more money in the pockets of the middle class families who need it most, while Republicans would only support a bill that exacts a price from middle class workers while protecting the wealthiest Americans,” Murray, the fourth-ranking Democrat, said.

A second bright shining silver lining was when Democratic Senators pointed to the defection of Republicans from the GOTP bill as an embarrassment for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’d been predicting there’d be support for some sort of payroll tax cut extension.

“Republicans spent this week trying to convince us that they support middle class tax cuts, but tonight a majority of Senate Republicans voted against their own bill -– calling into question whether they support middle class tax cuts at all,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The President quickly pointed out how the GOTP was sticking it to the middle class, “Tonight, Senate Republicans chose to raise taxes on nearly 160 million hardworking Americans because they refused to ask a few hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share,” he said. “That is unacceptable. It makes absolutely no sense to raise taxes on the middle class at a time when so many are still trying to get back on their feet.”

It’s difficult to fathom how the GOTP thinks sticking up for the wealthiest 1% while sticking it to everyone else is going to win any votes in 2012; McConnell’s always said it’s his first priority to make President Obama a one term president, but it’s very likely the President will win re-election, that the Democratic party will regain the House and in all probability extend its majority in the Senate. If you’re a Democrat running for the House, or Senate, all you have to do is point out this past year’s collection of GOTP protectionism of the wealthy while throwing everyone else under the bus; if you say it enough it will eventually stick.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in 2012 Election

 

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Congressional Republican Tea Partistas want to raise taxes?

Republican Tea Partistas (GOTP) in the Congress – specifically the House – want to allow a tax break to end 1 January 2012, but it’s not the tax cuts enacted by George W. Bush which benefit the top 2% of wealthiest Americans, it’s the tax cut that applies to – and helps – the 46 percent of all Americans who owe no federal income taxes but who pay a “payroll tax” on practically every dime they earn.

The explanation from the GOTP House is an interesting one, GOTP House members say their proposal to allow the cuts to end is perfectly consistent with their goal of long-term tax policies that will spur employment and lend greater certainty to the economy. By spurring the economy they mean continuing tax cuts to the wealthy – the so-called “job creators” who haven’t created very many jobs in the past decade of benefitting from Bush tax cuts – while removing tax cuts for the lower 46% of the population ala Ebenezer Scrooge.

“It’s always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn,” says GOTP Congressman Jeb Hensarling, “but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again.”

What the deuce does that mean? Not “all tax relief is created equal for the purpose of helping to get the economy moving again”? Removing tax cuts to the lower middle class and the poor, while keeping tax cuts in place for the rich is supposed to get the economy moving again? This is like a Monty Python sketch of 12th Century England with the nobles trying to work out how to tax the poor out of every dime by instituting a road tax, or a tree tax.

The crux of the issue is that workers – aka “those people” to the GOTP – normally pay 6.2 percent of their wages toward a tax designated for Social Security. Their employer pays an equal amount, for a total of 12.4 percent per worker. Well, last December – when Congress was still controlled by real people and not the prostitutes of the wealthy – Congress approved President Obama’s request to reduce the workers’ share to 4.2 percent for one year; employers’ rate did not change. The President would like to see Congress extend the reduction for an additional year. If the GOTP doesn’t extend the tax cut the rate will return to 6.2 percent on 1 Jan.

President Obama has asked the GOTP House to come up with measures to help the economy and create jobs. “There are things we can do right now that will mean more customers for businesses and more jobs across the country. We can cut payroll taxes again, so families have an extra $1,000 to spend,” he said.

Unfortunately, the GOTP House – which ran on the premise of creating jobs – has not submitted one bill designed to help the economy; but they have submitted more than 100 bills aimed at curtailing abortions in America.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Social Security payroll taxes apply only to the first $106,800 of a worker’s wages. Therefore, $2,136 is the biggest benefit anyone can gain from the one-year reduction. Of course the vast majority of Americans make less than $106,800 a year, and thus millions of workers pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes. But we can’t have the vast majority of American workers benefiting – you can almost hear Eric Cantor whining, “Why do they need a tax break? They don’t create any jobs! We need to cut taxes further for the top 2%, the “job creators”, not the sniveling supporters of the Democratic Party.”

GOTP Congressman, like David Camp, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, and a member of the newly created House-Senate “uber-committee” tasked with finding new deficit cuts says that allowing the tax reductions to continue is troublesome, “no matter how well-intended,” will push the deficit higher.

So, allowing tax cuts to continue for the vast majority of wage earners in America will increase the deficit, but allowing the top 2% who control the vast majority of wealth – i.e., money – to keep their tax cuts won’t raise the deficit? Wow, talk about GOTP double speak.

Many GOTP members of Congress are adamant about not raising taxes but largely silent on what it would mean to let the payroll tax break expire, and they cite key differences between the two “temporary” taxes, starting with the fact that the Bush measure had a 10-year life from the start. To stimulate job growth, these lawmakers say, it’s better to reduce income tax rates for people and for companies than to extend the payroll tax break. Yes, because the uber-rich and their corporations – who we all know are people too – need to be able to have their caviar and eat it too.

Bottom line: the GOTP doesn’t give two cents for the people who work in this country; they’re only concern is to keep their Sugar Daddies (the top 2%) fat and happy so they’ll keep writing contribution checks. These “job creators” haven’t created any jobs here at home, but they’ve created thousands of new jobs overseas, benefiting from deregulation and tax cuts during the Bush/Cheney run. If you make less than $200,000 per year and you vote for the GOTP you’re slitting your own economic wrists. If this latest, and completely open move to shank you doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Taxes

 

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