Now that the Republican fiasco with the temporary payroll tax cut is sort of ended for a little bit, it’s time for these gentlemen and gentlewomen to recover their heads from rectal storage and get serious—and coherent—about tax policy for the US.
This last week has been a textbook example of a Keystone Kops failure to perform. Others can run the post mortem on their failure; I want to look ahead to early in the next year.
When the new year dawns, and the “negotiation” over the payroll tax cut extension for a whole year begins, we can expect the Progressives to resume their hobby horse demand to pay for the tax cut with their class war-oriented tax increase on groups of Americans of whom they utterly disapprove. The House Republicans and the Senate RINOs need to change the terms of that debate, rather than continuing to surrender the frame of the discussion to the other side.
The discussion needs to acknowledge, with gratification, the Progressives’ avowal that tax cuts are good for Americans and our economy. The discussion needs to acknowledge, with enthusiasm, that the Progressives want a 2% tax cut for Americans, and that their leader, President Obama, wants a 3% tax cut on both employees and employers.
Then the House Republicans, and their nominal colleagues, the Senate RINOs (assuming the latter can find their principles anywhere at all nearby), need to push for an income and corporate tax cut of 3%—just as Obama has asked for. And also acknowledging the need for stability and predictability for all Americans, these worthies need to push for the income tax cuts to be permanent—no more of this annual dual between talking point lists for personal political gain. After all, as Obama himself said all week long, the $40 per paycheck that this small cut represents “makes all the difference in the world” to those who get it. Of course, these $40 should be made permanent.
The Republicans and RINOs also need to push the Progressives, when the latter resist the income tax cut and its permanence, about the Progressives’ demand, instead, to reduce funding for an already dysfunctional Social Security system while they also refuse to allow reform of the system (or of Medicare or Medicaid, come to that).
I look forward to the Republicans and the RINOs getting their act and their message together, recovering their integrity and their principles, and arguing for a more serious, income, tax cut. And after that, they need to push, for the same reasons, for the permanence of the Bush tax cuts (and not allow this also to be merely another periodic talking points duel).