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Blame Game Continues Over Spending and Tax Cuts
Political Realities ^ | 08-02-2012 | LD Jackson

Posted on 08/02/2012 6:04:58 PM PDT by LD Jackson

I once heard a saying that there are two things we can all depend on. The first was death and the second was taxes. We are all going to die and we are all going to pay taxes. I want to add a third item to that list. We can also depend on Congress to play the blame game when it comes to issues that are political hot potatoes. Such is the case with the fight over upcoming automatic spending cuts and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

Everywhere I turn, there seems to be a story about the Democrats in Congress, specifically Harry Reid, throwing accusations at the Republicans. By doing so, they are trying to lay the blame for spending cuts at the feet of the Republicans. President Obama's budget director, Jeffrey Zients, joined the fray yesterday, with some fairly powerful rhetoric.

(Washington Times) President Obama’s budget director told Congress Wednesday that automatic spending cuts will slash funding for 16,000 school employees, cut the U.S. Border Patrol and kick 100,000 children out of the Head Start program as the White House sought to up the political pain for lawmakers bickering over how to stave off the cuts.

House Republicans offered to cancel their August vacation and stay in town to work on a solution, but Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the administration can’t deal with the Republicans until they agree to raise taxes on the wealthy.

spendingFrom everything I have read, it seems the Democrats have drawn a line in the sand and will be refusing to move any kind of plan forward, unless it has a provision to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for "the rich". They are tying the issues of the automatic spending cuts and the tax cuts together, for better or for worse. Zients specifically said the Republicans are refusing to require the "top 2 percent pay their fair share".

On the other side of the argument is the Republican opposition to raising taxes, any taxes, during the ongoing recession. They have passed their own legislation, which extends the tax cuts for a year, to give Congress a bit of breathing room to figure out how to do comprehensive tax reform. They obviously want to deal with the issues of spending and tax cuts separately, but the Democrats are having none of it. John Boehner even offered to keep the House in session through their August recess, but Harry Reid refused.

(The Hill) Reid replied by telling the House to follow the Senate in passing a bill to keep tax rates in place for the middle class – legislation the House is set to reject later Wednesday.

“I urge you to show Americans you are still capable of accomplishing something of utility by passing the only bill to avoid the fiscal cliff for middle class families with a chance of being signed into law: the Senate’s middle-class tax cut,” Reid wrote.

He added: “If the House is prepared to ask millionaires and billionaires to contribute their fair share, the Senate is prepared to remain in session as long as necessary to approve an agreement on a balanced deficit reduction package. Of course, I understand that such an agreement is unlikely in the short term given the refusal of House Republicans to work on a bipartisan basis to create jobs or pass any substantive legislation that has a chance of becoming law.”

Clearly, the Senate Majority Leader has no intention of moving forward on anything, unless it includes a tax hike for "millionaires and billionaires". On the other hand, Boehner and company seem to be dead set against any tax hikes, period. I would tend to agree with the Republicans, as I believe raising taxes on anyone is a bad idea, especially with the economy still on the ropes. The real question in all of this is who will blink first. Given past history, I'll be surprised if it isn't John Boehner.

TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: harryreid; obama; spendingcuts; taxcuts

1 posted on 08/02/2012 6:05:06 PM PDT by LD Jackson
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