For some time, President Obama has been demanding that the payroll tax cut, due to expire at the end of this year, be extended for another year—the whole year, together with a blanket extension of the unemployment subsidy. Leaving aside the wisdom of defunding Social Security as a means of providing a tax cut, or of paying the unemployed for not working, let’s explore what’s happened with Obama’s demand.
Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have refused to pay for a one-year payroll tax cut and the unemployment subsidy extension with any means that doesn’t include a parallel tax increase elsewhere, as they demand a continuation of their class war programs. Failing to get agreement for that for a complete year’s extension, the Senate passed a two month extension of the tax cut and subsidy—with, I’m embarrassed to say, the complicity of Senate RINOs who lack the character or courage required to fight this class war. Certainly, at the end of those two months, the Progressive demand for tax increases on Americans of whom they disapprove will resume, even more loudly.
The House had passed, some time prior, a bill that would have extended the payroll tax cut for the entire year, extended the unemployment subsidy on a gradually decreasing schedule, and paid for all of it without tax increases anywhere else, but with spending cuts only.
When the Senate passed their two-month bill, they ran for the exits to start their precious month-long vacation, their personal welfare being more important to these Senators than the welfare of us Americans. On the way out the door, they ordered the House to pass the Senate bill with no further argument.
The House rejected the Senate’s failure and voted, instead, to send the two bills to a House-Senate conference committee to resolve the differences, as is the normal way of doing business in the Congress. “Let’s get this done today,” House Speaker John Boehner told Obama in an effort to enlist the President’s help to get the bill which Obama has been demanding passed. However.
Reid is actively refusing to negotiate. He’s actively refusing to bring the Senate back—or to send any Senators back to take part in the conference committee. He demands that his two-month bill be passed by the House as a precondition to any negotiations. And he’s castigated those evil Republicans for holding out for Obama’s year-long extension.
Obama is actively refusing to negotiate on the passage of his own bill. He says:
Now let’s be clear. The bipartisan compromise that was reached on Saturday is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1. The only one.
So, Obama, who has been demanding a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut for Americans, doesn’t really mean it. The only bill he wants is his pet Harry Reid’s two-month extension. And an opportunity to fight again for divisive tax increases on Americans whom he doesn’t like.