Our Republican Senators are demanding that the Senate address two key issues, funding the government and cutting taxes on “all Americans” before they do anything else. The 42 members of the Republican Senate Caucus signed a letter stating, “While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”
“All Americans” is their noble-sounding code for the rich. There is a consensus that the Bush Tax cut should be extended for Americans whose income is no more than $250,000 per year. If the Republicans would agree, then they could quickly pass a bill that would mean that all but the wealthiest Americans could benefit from continued low tax rates. So the Republicans are not really fighting for “all” Americans at all. They are holding the rest of us hostage to their demand that their rich cronies continue to get their Bush tax cut.
The irony of their demand seems lost on many people. They demand that the U.S. government address its funding problem while simultaneously taking an action that is at odds with solving this problem. One way to help the funding problem would be to raise the taxes on those who make more than $250,000. Clearly this is not the solution the Republicans have in mind. They are much more comfortable cutting off benefits to people who make less that $2 a year: the unemployed.
As far as their calling this a “job-killing” tax hike, well this is just their typical Orwellian double-talk. If they had any interest in creating jobs, then they’d want the government to invest in programs that are productive means of growing jobs. Examples of such means would be a direct stimulus or even extending unemployment benefits because those benefits are much more likely to be funneled into the economy than another bonus check for the rich. But of course they don’t like either of these ideas because the trickle up effect is much smaller than the benefit of a direct gift of cash.
What I can’t figure out is why the populist movement know as the Tea Party Movement would align themselves with a group of politicians who so transparently put the interests of the rich and powerful over the interests of the majority of Americans.