Associated Press: GOP, Dems Nearing Deal on Taxes, Jobless Benefits
An outline of a bipartisan economic package is emerging that would temporarily extend the Bush-era tax rates for all taxpayers, while extending jobless benefits for millions of Americans.
Differences remained over details, including White House demands for middle- and low-income tax credits. But Republicans and Democrats appeared to come together Sunday, raising the possibility of a deal in Congress by the end of the week.
Either the Republican Party is for turning around the economy, or it is not. As an attorney–albeit an unlicensed one–I find it difficult to reconcile the argument that an across-the-board extension of the Bush tax cuts is essential to the facilitation of economic and job growth, but allowing the unemployed to sit back and collect taxpayer money for two years or so, regardless of effort on their part, is somehow not detrimental to the same. Either you’re for fostering economic growth, or you’re not.
When it comes to this “deal” being set out by the president and the Democrats, the Republicans need to hold fast, and make their counterparts from across the aisle own any adverse consequences.
Both sides whine incessantly about bipartisanship. Well, in a rare Saturday session, the United States Senate came together to reject the president’s plan to increase taxes on the job creators in America. Currently, Republicans hold 42 seats in the U.S. Senate, and yet 53 senators voted against the tax increase.
Inside the Beltway, the Republicans have the political support to take a stand and say that, for the good of the country, the Bush era tax cuts should be extended in their entirety and that unemployment benefits should not be available in perpetuity. Outside the Beltway, where the Resurgent Right sent a loud-and-clear message to all lawmakers that fiscal common sense must rule the day, the Republicans certainly have the popular support as well. Better yet, extending the Bush tax cuts and capping unemployment benefits is simply the right thing to do.
Take a stand. And if certain Democrats continue to stonewall, make them own the tax increase. And, come January, when the new Republican majority can push through the right legislation, should the president continue his veiled veto threats, make him be the president whose veto raised taxes on America.