The Payroll Tax Bill and Other Crises

Yesterday there seemed to have been a deal, but today it’s falling apart. Let’s review — Congress is working on a bill that would —

  • Extend the payroll tax cut for two months. The President wants the payroll tax cut to stay in effect throughout 2012, which would save working taxpayers an average of $1,000.
  • Extend employment benefits for two months.
  • Approve the “doc fix” for two months. The “doc fix” is the annual vote to override cuts to Medicare reimbursement that were mandated by a law passed during the Clinton Administration. Every year since 2003 Congress has voted to defer the cuts, and if the eight years’ of cuts were to all go into effect at once, the reimbursement rate would be cut by 27 percent.

The Senate passed the bill by 89 to 10 yesterday. But now the House is planning to revolt.

In a private conference call on Saturday afternoon, rank-and-file House Republicans complained bitterly about the contents of the deal, which would extend through February the president’s Social Security tax cut, unemployment insurance and Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors. The sweetener of a provision requiring the president to expedite consideration of the Keystone XL oil pipeline wasn’t enough to offset the bitterness of a deal that gives the president two more months to pillory Republicans on a tax cut that is one of his most popular policies.

Before the conference call yesterday, House Speaker Boehner said he approved the Senate bill. Now he’s saying that Congress should stop kicking the can down the road and pass a bill for all of 2012. And yeah, they should do that. But of course, there’s going to be a catch. No House Republican can sleep at night before he’s done something to screw American workers.

5 thoughts on “The Payroll Tax Bill and Other Crises

  1. Thank goodness these Republican assholes hate trains and railroads!
    Otherwise, they’d be out there tying all of the unemployed, poor, sick, old, disabled, women, children,and immigrants, to the tracks, waiting for a choo-choo to make wormchow out of us.

    Somewhere, silent movie villains, Darth Vader, and Dr. Evil, know that, if they want to ‘get with’ the evil in these times, they’d need to either be in the Republican leadership in Congress, or be one of the corporate leaders paying them off.
    Everyone less evil than that will from now be relegated to remakes or new episodes of cartoons with either Dudly Do-Right or Scooby-Doo.
    And wouldn’t that monster in “Alien” make a fine House Majority Whip?

  2. Wait…I thought the Teabags were anti-pork in bills…where are they on the issue of the pipeline as a condition of payroll tax cuts? Or they no longer useful idiots?

    • where are they on the issue of the pipeline as a condition of payroll tax cuts?

      Oh, they want the pipeline — per the wingnut rules, it’s not pork if David Koch says it’s not pork — but they don’t think it’s enough.

  3. The pipeline is not pork – it’s not being paid for by tax dollars. What it does is force states and individuals to give way to the force of the federal government. You will be compelled to sell land or grant right-of-way to private developers for the benefit of multinational corporations.

    If Nebraska has environmental concerns – tough ship. If any other state in the path of the pipeline decides the pipeline should be a source of tax funds on a per-million-barrels basis- you can bet that’s prohibited also. Despite the professed principles being violated, conservatives want Keystone under a federal umbrella – and to hell with state rights and individual property rights, which are suddenly trivial to the Tea Party whores of the Kotch House of ill repute.

  4. My speciality: OT. My current find: Romney on HuffPo:
    “Cutting welfare spending dramatically, I don’t think will hurt the poor,” Romney said.
    Even libs can understand the anybody but Mitt movement, even if for different reasons than the ones the Reteabaggercans have.

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