GOP Holds Unemployment Checks Hostage to Tax Cuts for Rich
November 16, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— Well who didn’t see this coming a mile away? It now looks like the Democrats have agreed on a compromise (capitulation) on the extension of Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. What is the deal? The Democrats cave while the Republicans get everything they want, in exchange for extending unemployment benefits that are due to expire at the end of November, just in time to cast a pall on the holidays. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), said today that he would “take a look at” a proposal to extend the tax cuts to everyone on a temporary basis. So, that means no permanent tax cuts for the middle class, as promised by President Obama. No “decoupling” of the middles class and wealthy tax cuts. And the middle class tax cuts will continue to be held hostage to the cuts for the super rich every couple of years. Nice “compromise” there Dems.
Worse, the Republicans get to act magnanimous for agreeing to extend unemployment benefits, when such benefits should, in a perfect world without a dysfunctional senate, be a no-brainer at a time of near double-digit unemployment.
“The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Tuesday he was willing to consider a temporary tax cut extension for all income levels, a step that could pave the way for a possible deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts.”
“This is something we will take a look at,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters, referring to a plan to extend all the cuts for two or three years.” [...]
“A deal on a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax rates could also be linked to renewal of unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans about to lose them, a senior Republican in the House of Representatives said.”
“Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican in leadership, said he could back extending jobless benefits, favored by Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in exchange for an extension of all Bush-era tax cuts, including for the wealthiest groups.”
‘”What we’re going to do is sit down and talk with Mrs. Pelosi,” Sessions told Reuters as he left a meeting of House Republicans. “I see nothing wrong with her winning as long as the American people do.”‘
When the odious Pete Sessions refers to Pelosi “winning,” he’s referring to the extension of unemployment benefits. Nice guy.
So, this is how the Democrats are going to try and make this stinker of a deal palatable. The unemployed get to put presents under the Christmas tree, while the wealthiest two percent of Americans get to keep more of their money, adding $700 billion to the deficit.
And to trim the ballooning deficit, entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security that so many Americans depend on will be cut, which would further erode the already disappearing middle class.
Howard Dean, former Democratic presidential hopeful and governor of Vermont, recently lamented the lack of a fighting spirit of President Obama and Democratic lawmakers.
“If Republicans think we’re going to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid and give tax cuts to those making a million dollars a year, we will wrap that around their necks and beat the hell out of them in 2012.”’
If only more Democrats were willing to fight for Democratic values and middle class Americans, instead of running scared and surrendering to Republican bullying.