The GOP is losing the battle over the payroll tax cut. What’s worse is that they don’t even know it.
The Democrats setup the Republicans beautifully. Propose a tax cut that benefits the middle class while paying for it with a tax increase for millionaires. Of course this was never going to pass, but it puts Republicans on record as protecting millionaires over the middle class. The Republican counter has been to propose paying for the tax cut via spending decreases.
But a funny thing happened. Not all Republicans got behind the proposal to pay for the tax cut with spending cuts. The reasoning is that the proposal is to cut spending over 10 years to pay for a one year expenditure. Tom Coburn was on Fox News Sunday when he said, “The question the American people ought to ask is where is the backbone in Washington to actually pay for these extensions in the year the money’s spent.”
Coburn has a good point. The problem is that Republicans will likely not support this view next year when the same debate over extending the Bush tax cuts will take place. That is where the setup comes into play. Democrats brought up the idea to pay for the payroll tax cut and Republicans jumped on board. Now Republicans will have some deep explaining to do when they demand that the Bush tax cuts are extended indefinitely without paying for them. The Bush tax cuts benefit the wealthy much more than the middle class. So when Republicans go to bat for extending the Bush tax cuts without paying for them, when they previously demanded that a middle class tax cut be paid for, the perception will be very bad for the GOP.
Remember politics is all about perception. I am honestly shocked that the GOP is still going down this path on the payroll tax cut. I never thought I would see the day that Republicans were one-upped by democrats over a tax cut. It just goes to show that Washington is broken. Ideas do not matter anymore. All that matters is what side proposed an idea. Once you know that, you can figure out which side of the aisle each congressmen will fall on. It is a sad reality of the time. Something needs to be done about it. Unfortunately, it will probably take several elections and national movements to get the message across.