Two plans aimed at extending the Bush tax cuts for low and middle income workers failed in the Senate on Saturday. The plans were put forward by Democrats as a way to paint Republicans as the party of the rich.
CBS News reported earlier:
“For a proposal to extend all expiring tax cuts on individuals with incomes of less than $200,000 a year and married couples making less than $250,000, the vote was 53-36.
“On a plan to renew tax cuts for all filers with incomes of less than $1 million, the vote was 53-37″
Both measures required a 60 vote margin to break a GOP filibuster.
CBS News Capitol Hill correspondent Bob Fuss said “…Democrats want to make a political point: Republicans are so determined to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy, they’ll block them for everyone else.”
But Republicans argue that with unemployment now at 9.8 percent, extending the tax cuts are necessary to stimulate job growth.
Speaking from the floor of the Senate, Mitch McConnell said:
“According to the strange the logic of Democratic leaders in Congress, the best way to show middle class Americans that they care about creating jobs is to slam some of America’s top job creators with a massive tax hike…Today’s vote was an affront to the millions of Americans who are struggling to find work and a clear signal that Democrats in Congress still haven’t got the message from the November elections.”
Some Democrats, however, feel that unemployment checks are more beneficial to the economy than extending tax cuts to the businesses that create jobs.
In a bit of Orwellian Newspeak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:
What does it do to create jobs? What does it do to reduce the deficit? Unemployment insurance, the economists tell us, return $2 for every $1 that is put out there for unemployment insurance. People need the money they spend it immediately, for necessities. It injects demand into the economy; it creates jobs to help reduce the deficit.
Giving 700 billion dollars to the wealthiest people in America, does add 700 billion dollars to the deficit. And the record in history shows it does not create jobs, it does not create jobs.
By this logic, one could argue that if 9.8 percent unemployment is good, then 98 percent would be ten times better for the economy.
But many Americans have a different view. A Rasmussen poll shows that nearly half disagree with Speaker Pelosi’s assessment.
Democrats, however, appear tone-deaf to the message sent by voters in November.
Americans do not want more government spending, nor do they want never-ending unemployment checks.
But as Democrats continue to demagogue the issue, Republicans like newly sworn Mark Kirk of Illinios are standing firm.
Delivering the Republican address, Kirk said voters in the midterm elections demonstrated their distaste for any tax increases.
“The current leaders of Congress should not move forward with plans that were just rejected by the American people,” he said. “These leaders should not raise taxes and risk another recession. Instead, Congress should reduce spending and prevent another tax hike on American taxpayers.”