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Republicans Shoot Themselves In Foot

December 26, 2011

The Congressional republicans shot themselves in the foot last week after a bizarre confrontation over the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. At first they didn’t want the one-year extension at all because it would only benefit low-and-middle-class Americans and would cause “uncertainty for the wealthy job creators”. They also didn’t want it unless it could be paid for, while the tax cuts for the rich have never been paid for. They wanted to pay for the extension by cutting payments to doctors through Medicare, which is a knife in the back of all seniors.

The Democrats, in their willingness to compromise in order to save the benefits to average Americans, proposed a two-month extension of the benefits beyond the holidays until there would be time to discuss it further. The House republicans then tacked on the completely unrelated provision that President Obama must make a decision on the proposed building of the Keystone XL Pipeline project (see here and here) within two months. The Senate approved the measure and left Washington for the holidays. On their way out the door, though, the House republicans killed the bill that they had negotiated and approved earlier saying that the two month extension was not long enough and that it should be extended for one year. Then they left town leaving 160 million Americans twisting in the wind.

The ire of the American people rose to a fever pitch against the republicans for their arrogant incompetence and total disregard for the welfare of their constituents. Speaker Boehner buckled under the pressure and returned to the floor of the house to override his members’ objections to the bill and pass it. In a small way, this was a victory for the American people whose voices were heard loud and clear. Their tax cut and benefit extension were salvaged, but only for two months when the same fight will be waged once again.

Of all the travesties committed by the republicans over the last year, this may have been the one that showed voters the truly nefarious nature of the right-wing extremists that occupy Congress under the GOP banner. Remember, this is the party that is all about cutting taxes, but this showed that tax-cutting is only desirable when it applies to the richest Americans. They definitely shot themselves in the foot this time. Next time maybe they will aim the gun about six feet higher.

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