Senate GOP Pledges to Block All Bills Until Tax Cuts are Extended for All

Republicans have decided to block all bills unless they get their way over extending tax cuts for the wealthy:

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved, by Alan Silverleib, CNN: Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada…

Democrats and Republicans disagree sharply over whether the current tax rates should be extended just for families earning $250,000 or under per year, or should be extended for everyone regardless of income. …

Reid blasted the GOP letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, calling it part of a “cynical” and transparent” Republican strategy to “obstruct” and “delay” legislative progress while blaming the Democrats for failing to effectively govern.

“Last month, the American people issued their verdict on the Democrat’s priorities,” replied Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. …

I think Republicans are misreading the message of the election, especially if they think it was a call to extend tax cuts for the wealthy. Democrats should say no, we’re not giving in. If taxes go up for most people, it’s the GOP’s fault for not having the courage to fund the tax cuts when they were first enacted, and for refusing to go along with an extension for the majority of households.

If they are so worried about the “a job-killing tax hike” discussed in their letter (a distinctly Keynesian perspective by the way), then use the money gained from allowing the tax cuts to expire for the wealthy to fund an extension of the Making Work Pay tax cuts in the stimulus package that went to middle and lower class households. The GOP is refusing to extend the Making Work Pay tax cuts, apparently the jobs lost when taxes go up for the non-wealthy don’t count. Since these tax cuts are likely to result in more spending than tax cuts for the wealthy, this would increase rather than decrease jobs. If the GOP really cares about jobs, they’ll get on board. If they block the legislation, as they most likely would, then we’ll see who is reading the “verdict” from the election correctly.

About Mark Thoma 243 Articles

Affiliation: University of Oregon

Mark Thoma is a member of the Economics Department at the University of Oregon. He joined the UO faculty in 1987 and served as head of the Economics Department for five years. His research examines the effects that changes in monetary policy have on inflation, output, unemployment, interest rates and other macroeconomic variables with a focus on asymmetries in the response of these variables to policy changes, and on changes in the relationship between policy and the economy over time. He has also conducted research in other areas such as the relationship between the political party in power, and macroeconomic outcomes and using macroeconomic tools to predict transportation flows. He received his doctorate from Washington State University.

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1 Comment on Senate GOP Pledges to Block All Bills Until Tax Cuts are Extended for All

  1. The deal based on the outright lies and supportive Dead Media will lead to another Bush-era & irreversible RECESSION.

    1. The reps uses the recession as an excuse for tax cuts for the wealthy.
    2. The Republican Senate minority leader has been arguing that the outcome of the midterm elections confers a mandate on Congress to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
    “There’s bipartisan opposition to raising taxes on anyone at this time.”
    (a). Only 34 percent of Americans believe that tax cuts ought to be extended for those households making more than $250000 a year, according to a new CNN poll.
    (b). A recent CBS News poll indicated that Only 26 percent indicated they support extending the tax cuts for all Americans regardless of income level
    (c). In the AP-CNBC poll, 34 percent favor extending the tax cuts for all Americans.
    (d). A recent Gallup poll found 40 percent favor maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans.
    3. The reps road the waves of deficit reduction just 2 months ago.
    Now, 2 months later they are set to increase the deficit and increase the governments debt ceiling just so they can give themselves and their rich pals more money.
    This isn’t what Americans voted for.
    4. Tax cut for small businesses.
    A small business bill was blocked for weeks by a republican filibuster in the Senate.
    5. Tax cut for job creation.
    (a). There is no evidence that the tax cuts created even a single job.
    Back when Bush was pushing his tax cut packages through Congress in 2001 and 2003, supporters said the cuts (which weren’t balanced with spending reductions) would initiate an era in which the American economy would grow so robustly the nation would be running a surplus of more than $5 trillion at the scheduled expiration date. U.S. now runs a deficit of about $1.3 trillion.
    In fact, the available evidence is the exact opposite:
    Former President Bill Clinton left a record surplus and created 20 million jobs, despite the warning of potential economic disaster over tax increase for the wealthiest.
    (b). Your Waterloo = our windfall.
    Even when the economy was on the cusp of entire collapse just like Lehman Brothers ahead of the roll-out of stimulus package, it was held hostage by Audacity of Nope, and the time was running out.
    Power first then said : Nope ! How do we pay for it ?, Just let it go under exactly like Lehman Brothers.
    6. The GOP along with Big Business bought this past midterm election.
    The structure that the last champion is authorized to pick the next match winner .
    The ruling that allowed Corporate money to back Political Candidates destroyed the very fabric of the Elections and Americans are paying dearly for it.
    The incessant barrage of negative campaign ads drove most Americans towards something they knew nothing about, the Republican­/Corporate take-over of the US. Millions upon millions were spent to defeat certain Democrats.
    7. From my perspective, Communism & extreme Capitalism have one thing in common : Power First at the cost of people !

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