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Ear to the Ground

Congress Cooperates to Pass Tax Cut Bill

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Posted on Dec 23, 2011
AP / Evan Vucci

Speaker of the House John Boehner, center, walks to a news conference about the payroll tax cut with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, right, on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Well, that’s more like it. After weeks of jockeying and jousting on Capitol Hill, both the House and Senate finally passed the tax cut extension bill Friday that had threatened to bring Congress to a standstill at the height of the holiday season. President Obama signed it and shipped out to Hawaii that same day. Mahalo!  —KA

AP via Google News:

Barely beating Santa’s sleigh, Congress delivered a last-minute holiday tax-cut extension to 160 million American wage-earners on Friday, just when it looked like they and millions of unemployed workers were going to be left with coal in their stockings.

It was a major yearend political victory for President Barack Obama, a big slice of humble pie for House Republicans and a blow to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who’ll have an angry band of tea party lawmakers to deal with when Congress returns to Washington next month.

Back-to-back voice vote approvals of the two-month special measure by the Senate and House came in mere seconds with no debate, just days after House Republican leaders had insisted that reopening negotiations on a full-year bill was the only way to persuade them to prevent a tax increase on Jan. 1.

Obama immediately signed the bill into law.

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By Fibonacci65, December 24, 2011 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Good comments, all. SS could be saved easily—easily, if Obama and the Dems cared and if Americans were paying attention—by lifting the cap on rich bastards who can collect SS (and believe me, they do), but need not pay into it over a certain hundreds of thousands of dollars amount, poor dears.  God, when will this caving to the very rich end—when?

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By littlerhodey, December 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

I find it disturbing that regular people will be
paying for this tax cut via extra fees on their
Fannie and Freddie mortgages.  All of the fighting
about how the US can’t raise taxes on the wealthy and
in the end a tax cut for Americans ends up getting
funded by the middle and lower classes.  And yet
there is no outrage. That little detail just gets
swept under the rug.  Obama acts like he is so on
the US people’s side. He says he is giving us more
money but then doesn’t say “Oh yeah your fellow
Americans in the middle and lower classes will have
to pay it back for the next 30 years but only the
ones who take a mortgage starting Jan 1, 2012.”  I
feel betrayed.  I feel guilty that some family will
be paying for the extra money in my pay check in
every one of their monthly mortgage payments. And
again the wealthy sit back untouched and not taxed. 
At least we only did a two month extension vs a full
year.  Hopefully, the remaining 10 months will be
funded some other way. Why isn’t anyone in the press
really making an issue of this?  I know mainstream
media will ignore this but hopefully Truthdig and/or
Michael Moore will make this a talking point to get
Americans aware of the truth.  Because the truth is a
disgrace.

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By FRTothus, December 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

And this is how the most successful and most despised
(by the oligarchs) part of The New Deal is destroyed. 
Step one: de-fund it so that it fails, and it will then
be turned over (step two) to the vultures on Wall
Street to “fix”.  Huey Long was correct:  Fascism has
come to the US wrapped in the American flag, and,
unsurprisingly, has bi-partisan support.  The worst of
it is that it has been ushered in by the Democrats, the
party that still pretends to represent the common man.

Welcome to the third world, America.

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, December 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Just as it was scripted, went off so smooth it almost looked like an ad-lib.

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By starfish, December 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

One of the Very Worst ideas any American president has ever had is the “payroll tax cut” (which started out as the “payroll tax holiday” but has now morphed into something quite different), and it is shocking that it was a Democratic president (Obama) who proposed it.

And, since, this idea came from a Democratic president, too many Democrats are supporting it, even though they know better.

It is a Back Door way of killing Social Security; and if any Republican had proposed it, Democrats would be fighting tooth and nail against it.

But they aren’t, since it was a Democratic president who proposed it and is insisting on it. Unfortunately, some Democrats don’t seem any more committed to protecting Social Security than the Republicans are—and that is scary.

Yes, I know Congress will “replenish” those lost Social Security revenues from the general budget, but that is exactly what will make the Social Security program VULNERABLE to being destroyed, since Republicans will now at long last be able to argue that Social Security is no longer self-funding and, therefore, “cannot be afforded.”

Once Social Security becomes part of the regular budget process—with all the deal-making involved—it is doomed.

Too many Democrats are betraying the trust of the American people with this “payroll tax cut”; and when the Republicans use the shortage of Social Security funds as an excuse for killing Social Security, we will all know who the culprits were who started us down the path of depriving Social Security of its proper revenue and turning it into just another government program that can be cut whenever the Republicans get the chance.

Have all the Democrats lost their minds?

It’s usually and historically been the Republicans we have had to fight in order to save Social Security.

So, I’ll ask it again:  Have all the Democrats lost their minds?

FDR must be turning in his grave at what Democrats are doing to Social Security.

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