The current payroll tax cuts that we have all been enjoying are about to come to an end as they expire at midnight, December 31.
The Democratic controlled Senate has passed a bill which would extend the payroll tax cut by two more months.
The Republican controlled House passed a bill which would extend the payroll tax cut a full year.
President Obama and the Democratic Senate refuse to sign the House’s payroll tax cut extension of one year. They are insisting their mere two month extension be approved by House Republicans and they are unwilling to compromise on the issue.
Likewise the House Republicans refuse to pass a two month stop-gap measure and are insisting that the Senate pass their one year extension. House Speaker John Boehner said that Congress needs to do what’s right for America’s work force and extend the payroll tax cuts for a full year. He also said that he doesn’t want to have to spend time on it again in two months and like the Senate Democrats, the House Republicans are unwilling to compromise on the issue.
One has to ask why the Democrats are unwilling to also do what’s right for the American work force and extend the payroll tax cut for a full year. What do they hope to gain by insisting on only a two month extension? Do they have plans to try to use this as additional leverage or a bargaining tool come February?
So in his typical hypocritical ‘do as I say, not as I do’ fashion, Obama is trying to lay full blame for possibly allowing the payroll tax cuts to end, squarely on the Republicans when he told the American people,
“The clock is ticking; time is running out. And if the House Republicans refuse to vote for the Senate bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days.
“I just got back from a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, where we received the flag and the colors that our troops fought under in Iraq, and I met with some of the last men and women to return home from that war.
“These Americans, and all Americans who serve, are the embodiment of courage and selflessness and patriotism, and when they fight together, and sometimes die together, they don’t know and they certainly don’t care who’s a Democrat and who’s a Republican and how somebody is doing in the polls and how this might play in the spin room. They work as a team, and they do their job. And they do it for something bigger than themselves.
“The people in this town need to learn something from them. We have more important things to worry about than politics right now. We have more important things to worry about than saving face, or figuring out internal caucus politics. We have people who are counting on us to make their lives just a little bit easier, to build an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded. And we owe it to them to come together right now and do the right thing.”
Notice that Obama makes no mention of the unwillingness of Senate Democrats to compromise on the matter, he only mentions the House Republicans. Basically, the President is condemning the House Republicans for following the example set by his own Democratic Party. It reminds me of the old saying I use to hear all the time about the pot calling the kettle black (and no, I’m not making any kind of racist remark here).
Boehner responded to the President’s blame shifting by telling him to instruct Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reconvene the Senate so that they can hammer out a compromised bill that will include a full one year extension to the payroll tax cut.
Most of the past presidents would be sitting down with leaders from both sides, working out a way to handle the impasse. However, Obama fails to be a national leader and instead of working at his job in a time sensitive issue, he takes his dog and goes shopping, mostly for the photo op.
This is one of a long string of examples of Obama’s purposeful exclusion from working with others. He talks a good talk, but he sits on his butt instead of walking the walk, proving once again that as a national leader he’s as useless as a pig farmer in a Muslim country.
Guess we’ll all have to sit and wait to see which side will finally capitulate to the other, or if neither of them do and we all end up seeing more taxes withheld from our paychecks.