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House Republicans Can't Wait to Raise Payroll Taxes


I remember years ago, when I used to be a die-hard Republican. I'd see some news story about how Republicans were going to "stick it" to the Democrats over this issue or that issue, and I would love it.

I'd get all warm and fuzzy inside, the way Christians must feel when they drive by a homeless shelter on their way to Sam's Club for more Christmas presents for their spoiled, selfish (apple, tree) brood.

Oh yes, I was a true believer. I drank the Gingrich koolaid the first time around. I actually believed Jack Kemp when he said he wanted to rebuild inner cities. I believed Republicans when they said they wanted to help the middle class. Hell, I even believed George W. Voldemort Bush when he said he represented a compassionate conservatism.

Yeah, it's safe to say I was exactly the sort of voter the Republican Party loved.

Then again, I was also smoking a lot of marijuana at the time. The two are certainly related.

In any case, the crap that the Republican Party is trying to pull right now is so genuinely childish and politically unwise (not to mention pure partisan evil) that I have to wonder if the 1999 version of John Thorpe would be as aghast as the 2011 version is.

The irritation comes from the fact that Republicans — who support every tax cut, every time, and who oppose any tax increase on the wealthy, ever ever ever EVER — are refusing to vote for a payroll tax cut extension unless the Democrats let Republicans pollute up and down the heart of America.

Did anyone else catch that? You currently receive a payroll tax cut of about $1000 a year. Given the recession, Democrats want to extend that payroll tax cut another year, before it expires on December 31. Republicans refused to extend the payroll tax cut (aka Republicans are willing to raise taxes on poor people and middle America) unless the Democrats offset the tax cut with money from somewhere else.

So the Democrats said fine, and offered to raise taxes on millionaires. Literally, a small surtax, only on millionaires, and only enough to cover the cost of a payroll tax cut for moderate incomes. Republicans said no. Get that? Republicans are ok with raising taxes on poor people. They are not ok with raising taxes on rich people.

I wonder if, by election 2012, Republicans will (derp derp) realize there are a hell of a lot more of us poor and middle income folks then there are of them?

Regardless, Democrats said fine, no surtax. How do you recommend we pay for it? And the Republicans said "by letting us build a giant oil pipeline through the middle of America."

To quote the philosopher Jay-Z, "Jigga what?"

What does an oil pipeline have to do with a payroll tax cut? (If you answered "nothing", you win a prize of one smile). Yet here we are, a few weeks away from doomsday. Republicans will now hike taxes on poor people to avoid a tax hike on millionaires. Oh and they want a polluting oil pipe built, or they'll let taxes go up on poor people.

If that isn't the Republicans taking America hostage, I don't know what is. And if that is not enough for you to say to hell with the Republican Party, well, then what will it take? Do they need to literally put a gun to America's head and threaten to shoot her? Will you listen then? Will you listen ever?

Or will you listen, eternally, to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and hope to god the voices in their heads, projected into your eardrums, are not lying to you?

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Read more of my stories at Benzinga. You can also reach me by email or on twitter @johndthorpe.

Posted-In: Barack Obama GOP John BoehnerNews Movers & Shakers Politics General


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