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Bilifuduo (95.99)

Kudos, Mr. Boehner.



December 20, 2011 – Comments (5)

 The markets soared today after Spain's debt auction was met with surprisingly robust demand and the U.S. housing market was shown to have improved beyond expectations. 


Then Speaker of the House John Boehner took his trusty Sword of Political Manhandling and impaled the 2-month payroll tax cut, that, if not passed soon, would put unemployment benefits for 2 million people at risk and could result in higher taxes for 160 million Americans starting January 1. This is especially interesting because the bill had widespread bipartisan support in the Senate, where it had passed 89-10 . But obviously Mr. Boehner had other plans for the bill, as he was the main reason the bill didn't pass in the house.


Simple (take note future Speakers of the House that want to fully manipulate your legislative powers).

 First, Mr. Boehner tabled the straightfoward Yes/No vote in the Senate. 

Then, he scheduled the vote to be on whether or not a conference committe related to the bill should be established, even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already affirmed that the Senate wouldn't be forming a committee because the entire Senate has already gone on break for the holidays. 

 Furthermore, both options would have resulted in the rejection of the bill; A yes vote would have sent it to an as-of-yet nonexistent committee that couldn't have possibly worked anything significant out in a matter of days; a no vote would have simply rejected the bill and the committee and sent the bill back to the Senate. 


Boehner's measure passed 229-193.


So now Boehner gets to shift the blame on the Democrat-majority Senate if the committee is not established, under the pretense that he wanted to make sure the bill was suitable to both parties. If the committe IS established, there is still a huge likelihood they won't modify the bill in time for painful cuts and higher taxes to go into effect. 


"President Obama needs to call on Senate Democrats to go back into session ... and resolve this bill as soon as possible. I need the president to help out."- Mr. Boehner 


So kudos Mr. Speaker You might have won a political battle (for now), but you potentially have negatively affected millions of Americans in the process.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM, DJDynamicNC (42.32) wrote:

It's a simple political calculus - Republicans are all of a sudden all about raising taxes because A) it's a tax on working Americans, who don't count as people and B) less money in American pockets next year means slower economic growth means improved odds of a Republican taking the White House.

Isn't that nice? Very patriotic, our Speaker of the House.

My favourite part is that this all comes hot on the heels of protesting, literally for decades, that there is no such thing as a good tax increase.

Not that hypocrisy has ever bothered a modern Republican.

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#2) On December 20, 2011 at 7:30 PM, awallejr (36.64) wrote:

Well personally I am no fan of Boehner since I put blame on him for the whole debt ceiling nonsense and the "protect the 1%" position that he seems to care about.  However, in this case I agree with him that a 2 month extension is silly.  Do the year and stop the politics.  All the Senate really seems to care about is going home for the holidays.

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#3) On December 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM, Bilifuduo (95.99) wrote:


Yea definitely- a 2 month extension is very short (and it will prove to be a logistical burden for payrolls, etc) but at least its better than nothing. There's practically no chance of both sides reconstructing talks for a longer term extension before next year, and the 2 month window leaves some room for substantial discussions.

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#4) On December 21, 2011 at 10:21 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

A 2 month extension is very short, but this short extension enables Congress to deal with all the riders that the GOP in the 1 year extension draft.  For examply,  Obama now has 60 days to approve or not approve the Keystone pipeline in the 2 month extension instead of having to approve it immediately after the 1 year extension is approved.  Now EPA and other stakeholders have a chance to provide their input before a permanent and possible extremely polluting structure gets placed intheir backyard.

If the GOP could have written the tax extension without all the riders, I'm sure it would have passed.  But those riders, the Keysteon Pipeline, madatory drug test for unemplyment benefits, etc. do not make the bill enticing.  Why not force all the CEOS' whose organizations took bailout money take drug tests.  Better yet, why not all employees whose companies needed a bailout take drug tests.  I'm sure we'd find some heavy substance abuse there.  But I forgot we need to protect the "job creators" so they can make more jobs overseas.....sheesh give me a break

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#5) On December 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM, amassafortune (29.20) wrote:

If the Repubs were really smart, they'd add a modest federal extension of say $50/wk to replace the full benefits that are about to expire, and expand it to 150 weeks.

The move would add back the long-term unemployed that have dropped off the rolls, allowing the Dems to brag about the 8% unemployment rate. This would give President Obama a more honest 11% or so rate to run with next fall.

Also coming next fall, the subject of permanent death tax deduction/elimination, strategically deferred until just prior to the election. This is the holy grail of greed - not only to lock in the Bush tax cuts for those making (earning) >$250K/yr, but also to be able to pass accumulated wealth to one's offspring. Surely, that next generation will create those intended jobs.

If the intended jobs do not materialize from these future youthful wealthy, at least there will be plenty of subjects for reality shows.  

Fear not, if these efforts come to pass. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves is still in force. Why some of the rich are pushing so hard to subject their heirs to the common dangers of unearned wealth is a little baffling. Is the long-term trust fund obsolete?

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