Thursday, December 22, 2011

Catch of the Day

Got to get this in before the House finally caves on the payroll tax/UI extenders, which according to the twitters appears to be coming soon...but first, a Catch of the Day to Ezra Klein. Nice analysis of Barack Obama's complaint that "even when people agree to something we can’t do it?" Klein:
The two parties do not agree on extending the payroll tax cut. Democrats want to extend it, and Republicans want voters to think they want to extend it. But those two positions are actually very different...if Republicans wanted to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year, they would have extended the payroll tax cut for a full year...But they don’t. They want to make spending cuts and secure the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and force everyone on unemployment insurance to get drug tested. That’s what this debate is about. But it would be unpopular for Boehner to come out and say that that’s the Republican position.
Yup, that's about right.

Now, there is a separate question here: absent the Democrats, would Republicans support extending the payroll tax cut? That's a harder one to figure out. On the one hand, Republicans sure do claim to be for lower taxes, and there's no real history of them insisting on pay-fors. On the other...well, these particular tax cuts aren't targeted the way GOP-authored tax cuts are targeted. And a lot of Republicans have been complaining that taxes are too low for people who don't pay income tax. So there's really no way to be sure what Republicans would do in a world in which they controlled both branches but still had to (for some reason) deal with this question.

As it is, however, Klein is right. Nice catch!

1 comment:

  1. Boehner: “Sen. Reid and I have reached an agreement that will ensure taxes do not increase for working families on January 1 while ensuring that a complex new reporting burden is not unintentionally imposed on small business job creators,” Boehner said in a written statement. “Under the terms of our agreement, a new bill will be approved by the House that reflects the bipartisan agreement in the Senate along with new language that allows job creators to process and withhold payroll taxation under the same accounting structure that is currently in place."

    The House moved on to then pass a bill that sets the number of points awarded for a field goal in the upcoming Super Bowl to "three". Because House Republicans insist that the nation can't survive with the uncertainty of a possible four-point figgie affecting the Congressional square pool.

    "Accounting structure???" That's a pretty thin fig leaf you're hiding behind, Orange Man.

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