Will Tax Cuts Win the Day?

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As anticipated, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the Obama-GOP tax plan Wednesday in a vote of 81 to 19. Today, the bill is expected to be brought to the House floor, where it will face more significant opposition from ideological purists on both the Left and the Right. Yet the outlook for House passage of the bill is favorable, thanks, in large measure, to broad-based centrist support and active executive campaigning. Instead, what the lingering tax debate has seemed to imperil are other items on Congress’s ambitious lame duck agenda, particularly, the massive “omnibus” spending bill needed to avoid a government shut-down.

The $858 billion tax plan negotiated between the Obama administration and Congressional Republican leadership has been adamantly opposed by far-left House Democrats, who object primarily to extending Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy. The issue, they say, is that the tax rate extension “adds” to the deficit by failing to appropriate funds that must otherwise be borrowed. The argument is one of selective fiscal hawkishness directed toward a measure that accounts for a fraction of the total plan.

Democratic opposition to the plan is in sharp contradistinction to House Republican opposition. Although House Republicans are predominantly behind the bill, external pressure has been mounting, arguing that the prodigious concessions to left-wing demands are far too costly, for far too little gain. Critics cite the precipitous 35% estate tax hike (now at 0%) and the unprecedented extension of unemployment benefits, for instance. This, following a midterm election largely interpreted to be a referendum on deficit spending and raising taxes, has many believing that Republicans failed to fully consider both their mandate and their advantage.

A slight miscalculation perhaps it was. Some analysts, in fact, are urging House Republicans to vote against the tax plan in the hopes that, once Republicans assume the majority in the House in January, they will be able to permanently extend the current tax rates without the addition of what is essentially (yet) another unfunded economic stimulus package. This hope rests on the complicity of a conservative-leaning — though not conservative-dominated — Senate and a hamstrung president. Both would presumably be facing a “double-dip” recession if action was not taken, as warned by White House economic advisor Larry Summers. Far too much uncertainty for such a move, unfortunately.

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  • Ret. Marine

    This move it unconstitutional, the House is the proper place for the bills to be established, since when did this change and why is no one calling these traitor out for their blatant move?

  • ObamaYoMoma

    thanks, in large measure, to broad-based centrist support and active executive campaigning.

    Centrist is another way of spelling liberal, as the truth is there are no centrists, only liberals, and the problem with today’s Republican Party is that it has been hijacked by liberal RINOs. In other words, the Republican Party today has morphed into the second coming of the Dhimmicrat Party. Nevertheless, how is extending the tax cuts on the job creators and economic engine of our country for just two years going to alleviate economic uncertainty and spark economic growth? Can one of those so-called centrists please explain that one to me?

    This, following a midterm election largely interpreted to be a referendum on deficit spending and raising taxes, has many believing that Republicans failed to fully consider both their mandate and their advantage.

    As for as I’m concerned, the leftwing hijacked Republican Party needs to be abandoned and replaced with an all new true conservative party.

    Both would presumably be facing a “double-dip” recession if action was not taken, as warned by White House economic advisor Larry Summers. Far too much uncertainty for such a move, unfortunately.

    Spoken like a true so-called centrist and proud and loyal RINO of the leftwing hijacked Republican Party.

    it represents bipartisanship; usually chimerical and unsatisfying to the extremes.

    Well it was we “extremes,” i.e., true conservatives, that stayed home and didn’t vote in 2006, and it was the “extremes” that stayed home again in 2008. Now the “extremes” created the Tea Party subsequent to 2008 to attempt to force the leftwing hijacked Republican Party back to the right, but if the leftwing hijacked Republican Party is going to betray and stabbed us “extremes” in the back just as soon the election is over, then watch what happens in 2012.

    It seems to enjoy broad support from the public, including large swathes of liberals and conservatives. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows approximately 60% of the public approves of the tax bill compromise. The majority of self-identifying liberals and conservatives also approve, including 68% of Republicans.

    Actually, if the details were explained during the polling, I have a feeling the outcome would have been significantly different, as most voters are too busy to pay close attention to politics. However, we “extremes” who held our nose and stayed away from the voting booth in 2006 and 2008 are not impressed, and if the so-called centrists, i.e., liberal RINOs, think they can win elections without us “extremes” then you liberal RINOs are in for a rude awakening.

    Bipartisanship has won the day.

    Bipartisanship still moves the country more and more to the Left, but at a slower pace. In other words, it is a long and lingering death, as opposed to a quick death. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d rather die a quick death than a long and lingering death. Which is why if the leftwing hijacked Republican Party can’t get its act together, I may resort to voting for the most leftwing candidates I can find in the next election because I’m fed up. Indeed, I’m far more upset about Republican betrayals than I am Leftists. What Republicans in Congress are doing today via this compromise with the devil is adding insult to injury.

  • umustbkidding

    Your right this bill should be initiated in the House of Representatives. And it's not the unemployment benefits I am so concerned about it's the mandated ethanol program and other pork barrel crap.

    REPUBLICANS should not support this bill.

  • Mark_J_Koenig

    Nichole, I cannot possibly disagree more strongly with your position here supporting this tax 'compromise' on the basis that it's the best we can do under the circumstances, and that there is "far too much uncertainty" for holding off until the new House is sworn in in January. Poppycock.

    The same people who were screaming that the world as we know it would end if TARP wasn't passed immediately are now telling us that this tax "compromise" has to get done before the end of this lame-duck session. Are you kidding me? If the Republicans are this stupid, they don't deserve to govern either. This is NOT what we conservatives voted for in this recent election. The Democrat-controlled Congress has had TWO YEARS to do something on this tax issue, and they did not – because they knew that RAISING taxes (which is largely what this "compromise" does) would be so massively unpopular they'd have suffered even worse casualties in the recent election. Therefore, they chose to wait until the lame duck session to try and ram through this monstrosity.

    Why should Republicans be dealing at all with Dems before the new House is sworn in in January? I say kill this pathetic "deal" and let taxes increase on everyone January 1. The DEMOCRATS will get the blame – as they should – since they are the ones in control.

    The Republican-controlled House can then pass REAL tax CUTS and possibly avoid re-instituting the death tax altogether, not to mention force any extension of unemployment benefits to be paid for (IF that is even to be approved.)

    I and millions of conservatives are sick and tired of lily-livered Republicans who continually bow to this "bipartisanship" B.S. – which is in reality CAPITULATION to Democrat demands.

    This is "bipartisanship" as defined by Democrats and the so-called liberal media. Why is it that Democrats control the agenda even after Republicans have won? We need to ACT like we're in the majority and force THEM to eat the excrement sandwich that they made for themselves. In January we'll get a real tax reform package with actual tax CUTS. With REAL tax reform the economy will recover and any blame the Republicans take (assigned by the media and Democrats of course) for shutting down the government will be quickly forgotten.

    I'm surprised and disappointed to see you get suckered into this "bipartisanship" scam, Nichole. I say – FORCE A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AND DEAL WITH TAXES WHEN WE CONTROL THE HOUSE. Republicans need to grow a set of gonads or be thrown out on their arses. I'd prefer that the current Republican leadership step aside as well, in favor of some of these freshmen tea-party conservatives that have just been elected. There is simply no excuse for any capitulation before the game has even begun.

  • tanstaafl

    "The more things change, the more things stay the same". It is time for a third party that cares for one thing – reducing and then paying back government debt. Wait, what is the Tea Party?
    Time for it to become more than this year's model.

  • USMCSniper

    Geeeezz…. Am I the only one that is not brain damaged? Everyone keeps referring to the "Bush Rax Cuts" rather than the "Existing Tax Code Rates" and avoids of course rge proper context, that the "Existing Tax Code Rates" would revert to the "Clinton Raised Rax Rates" !! That's the facts Jack!!

  • William_Z

    Since there are no real tax cuts in this monster, only a tax extension with massive earmarks, it can only be hoped that the thing dies in the house.

  • coyote3

    "Harry pulls it." He just pulled the spending bill in the face of increasing opposition. This whole thing is coming unraveled, ORALE