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The House, Harry Reid, and the Payroll Tax (Why the House is right to reject the Senate bill)
National Review ^ | 12/21/2011 | The Editors

Posted on 12/21/2011 6:34:40 PM PST by SeekAndFind

Yesterday the House voted to reject a Senate plan for temporarily extending the payroll-tax cut and subsequently moved to recess, and they deserve credit for doing so.

This move does not eliminate the possibility of extending the tax cut, which expires at the end of December: The House previously passed a bill extending the cut for a full year, and that bill is good policy. It doesn’t increase the deficit. It forces a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. And it’s President Obama’s major year-end priority. So why is the Democratic Senate blocking the bill’s path between Capitol Hill and the White House signing desk, and pushing the bill the House rejected instead?

Because Harry Reid doesn’t like how the House version is paid for. Having failed — not once, but multiple times — to offset the payroll-rate cut with a new surtax on job creators, Senate Democrats were forced to huddle with Republicans to find common ground. What they came up with were enough offsets to fund a 60-day extension, mostly via increased fees on Fannie and Freddie. (This makes a certain amount of sense: Republicans abhor the government-sponsored enterprises, Democrats adore fees.)

The Senate plan, then, was to pass the temporary extension, send it back to the House, and enjoy a lengthy Christmas holiday. The New Year, they seem to believe, will bring with it fresh opportunities to kick the can down the road. But the 60-day extension is both irresponsible and unworkable, and House Republicans were right to hold the line against it, even if it keeps Congress in Washington through these holy nights.

Don’t take our word for it. Ask the National Payroll Reporting Consortium, a non-profit, non-partisan trade association of tax-service providers. NPRC warns that a last-minute, temporary extension of the payroll-tax cut could create chaos for small businesses, causing “substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees.” The National Association of Wholesale Distributors agrees, warning that the Senate measure “would exacerbate and escalate the uncertainty about fiscal policies that has inhibited business activity and slowed economic recovery . . . for the last several years.”

By contrast, the House bill is paid for by, among other things, extending the federal pay freeze, reforming government-employee pensions, introducing modest means-testing to Medicare, and stepping up (sadly necessary) efforts to prevent millionaires and illegal immigrants from improperly receiving government checks. Such reforms should hardly be controversial, let alone a cause for which Senate Democrats are willing to make 170 million American taxpayers suffer.

The bill contains more conservative provisions as well, such as checking the devolution of unemployment insurance into de facto welfare, undoing onerous EPA regulations, and implementing a two-year Medicare “doc fix” partially offset by further defunding of Obamacare. But as Speaker Boehner implied in a letter to President Obama, there is room for negotiation on the contours of these provisions — if the Senate will appoint negotiators to join House Republicans in a conference committee, something they have so far been unwilling to do.

This ought not persist. On one side of the table sit the House of Representatives, the president’s avowed goal of a year-long extension, the taxpayers, and time. On the other sits Harry Reid, who could be in for a very blue Christmas.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: congress; house; payrolltax; senate

1 posted on 12/21/2011 6:34:49 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

bump

Dingy Harry is a disgrace and needs to be demoted in 321 days (since we can’t fire him until...well, ever...)


2 posted on 12/21/2011 6:44:47 PM PST by Christian4Bush (PSA. As of 12/21/11, 321/396 days 'til we vote out/take out the trash. (11/6/12, 1/20/13))
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To: SeekAndFind

We can argue the merits until cows come home. The train has left the station. Politics of this are won by the other side. Time to clean up the mess and STOP trying to “accommodate” Obama. If the damn Republicans had taken a principled stance against “Raiding Social Security” from the begenning and opposed this stupid policy, we would have gotten somewhere with this stupid idea of Obama’s.

Well, our guys did not.....!


3 posted on 12/21/2011 6:47:35 PM PST by indianrightwinger
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To: SeekAndFind
The House is right to reject the Senate's Trojan House of a bill. You wouldn't know that judging from all the RINOs and MSM saying the House is wrong.
4 posted on 12/21/2011 6:48:04 PM PST by freedom1st
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To: SeekAndFind

Like Reid said about another bill sent to the senate (cap and balance budget) , “let’s dispose of this piece of legislation.”


5 posted on 12/21/2011 6:49:47 PM PST by PhiloBedo (You gotta roll with the punches and get with what's real.)
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To: SeekAndFind

NR is correct.


6 posted on 12/21/2011 6:50:33 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat
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To: SeekAndFind
Jackasses from both the RINO and Donkey Parties want to defund Social Security. What the Establishment Pepubicans lack in intelligence they make up in stupidity!!
7 posted on 12/21/2011 6:52:16 PM PST by texican01
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To: SeekAndFind

The RNC and the Senate Republican leadership have dozed off entirely on this one, failing utterly to even bother coming up with a sliver of a message to gird up the voters for the debacle of Obama’s payroll tax racket for votes. Here it is, Christmas time now and nobody has time to listen. So what’s with the total lack of a campaign on the what-for about this deal? Lazy flacks.


8 posted on 12/21/2011 6:53:01 PM PST by RitaOK (wRasmussen- the polling standard for accuracy.)
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To: indianrightwinger
We haven't lost this yet. Think about this: Who is going to suffer the most if the unemployment benefits aren't extended? Harry Reid's constituents - in Nevada, the unemployment rate is nearly 15%. Let's see how long Harry can hold out ...

I'm loving this !!!

9 posted on 12/21/2011 6:53:23 PM PST by 11th_VA
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To: SeekAndFind

The National Review editors are obviously under some horrible duress. Perhaps held hostage by an armed person or persons.


10 posted on 12/21/2011 6:59:48 PM PST by mrsmith (Start electing a 'Tea Party' Majority Leader in 2012 now!)
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To: mrsmith

“The National Review editors are obviously under some horrible duress. Perhaps held hostage by an armed person or persons.”

na after drinking Willards urine for months it makes them a little weird


11 posted on 12/21/2011 7:10:54 PM PST by Breto (never accept the premise)
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To: RitaOK

Amen to that!!


12 posted on 12/21/2011 7:58:51 PM PST by deweyfrank
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To: SeekAndFind; All

Question to all Freepers: Why isn’t Minority McConnell being flamed on FR for his stupid deal with Bottleneck Reid?


13 posted on 12/21/2011 9:02:05 PM PST by Graewoulf (( obama"care" violates the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND is illegal by the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Graewoulf

“Question to all Freepers: Why isn’t Minority McConnell being flamed on FR for his stupid deal with Bottleneck Reid?”

It’s Christmas time and the messaging should have been done against this by the RNC and the Senate Republicans long before now, on the payroll tax issue, if they gave a small damn about the actual outcome. I believe they may not care all that much who wins this deal given the silent treatment they have given it. There was no big push for a unified and noisy roll out campaign against it, so that the voters would get the picture and be behind the Republicans to hold the line.


14 posted on 12/21/2011 10:45:12 PM PST by RitaOK (wRasmussen- the polling standard for accuracy.)
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