The faux fiscal deadline is a contrivance by Republicans. They set up the Bush tax cuts to expire at a time when it was likely a Democrat would be in power. They thought they would have the presumably Democratic president where they wanted him (at their mercy). This is not the first time they have used such a maneuver as a time expiration, but it might have been their cagiest. That is, except for this: there is a way to dis-empower them. Our national leaders should tell John Boehner to go to hell.
It should be curtains for Rep. Crybaby's sideshow. He still thinks that Republicans won the election. It would be laughable if it were not so pathetic. The only reason the GOP even has the House is its radical gerrymandering. The public has spoken and, with the exception of John Boehner's warped constituents, they have spoken in opposition to Boehner. And yet he keeps it up.
So, let the Jan 1st deadline for the expiration for the Bush tax cuts come and go. The next day some very important things will be true:
1. All Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. But, we do not pay our taxes for 2013 on Jan 1, so everyone breathe...It's no biggie.
2. If everyone (including sometimes erratic stock holders) stays calm, no harm will have happened. but, importantly...
3. Grover Norquist will no longer hold any power. This outcome is not my own observation. Several national opinion-makers have suggested as much. But it is worth repeating. See also here and here. On Jan 1, if a twenty-year-old pledge isn't already an irrelevant antique, Grover Norquist's pledge will be meaningless that day, because, thereafter, any legislative action will not be toward raising anyone's taxes but lowering them for the majority, you know, the majority of the American people. They voted. And they did not vote for Grover Norquist. Not literally, but in essence, they did vote to restoring the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, but not the rich. Besides, taxing the rich more fairly will not hurt job growth.
4. Crybaby Speaker John Boehner will have lost his power.
5. Congress can proceed to restore the Bush era tax cuts to those making under $250,000.
6. And President Obama can return to treating the debt ceiling as a separate legislative issue.
7. The President would have cover for deferring deficit reduction for at least one to two more years, when the economy has recovered more fully.
8. The public will see clearly once and for all who really is on the side of the poor and the middle class.
9. The temporary payroll tax cut will expire and that is a good thing. It was a trap to eventually undermine Social Security at the point when Congress would no longer reimburse the Social Security Trust Fund for the temporary cut designed to stimulate the economy. The increase in the payroll tax would be far less than what taxpayers are saved by the restoration of the Middle Class tax cuts.
10. Congress could deal with finding a long-term alternative to the alternative minimum tax.
If the above isn't in the cards, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has a trick up her sleeve. And it is a doozie. Go, Nancy!
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