Skip to comments.The House, Harry Reid, and the Payroll Tax (Why the House is right to reject the Senate bill)
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 doesnt increase the deficit. It forces a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. And its President Obamas major year-end priority. So why is the Democratic Senate blocking the bills path between Capitol Hill and the White House signing desk, and pushing the bill the House rejected instead?
Because Harry Reid doesnt 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.
Dont 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 presidents 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.
Dingy Harry is a disgrace and needs to be demoted in 321 days (since we can’t fire him until...well, ever...)
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.....!
Like Reid said about another bill sent to the senate (cap and balance budget) , “let’s dispose of this piece of legislation.”
NR is correct.
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.
I'm loving this !!!
The National Review editors are obviously under some horrible duress. Perhaps held hostage by an armed person or persons.
“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
Amen to that!!
Question to all Freepers: Why isn’t Minority McConnell being flamed on FR for his stupid deal with Bottleneck Reid?
“Question to all Freepers: Why isnt 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.