Over the weekend, House Republican leader John Boehner hinted that he would be open to a compromise on the Bush-Cheney tax cuts to maintain lower rates for families earning less than $250,000 even if President Obama and Democrats “insisted” on ending the tax cuts for the rich.
“If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I’ll vote for them,” Mr. Boehner said in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS, during which the host, Bob Schieffer, pointedly asked whether Republicans would hold the tax breaks for most Americans “hostage” to keep the lower rates for the wealthy.
What a guy! Maybe Boehner was making such a bold statement because he feels the need to stand up for the middle class and he thinks that the wealthiest Americans, himself among them, should finally pay their fair share. Right? Right. And maybe Boehner’s glowing tan comes naturally without visits to the tanning salon between votes on the House floor! In other words, if John Boehner’s lips are moving, he’s asking for a tax break.
Those “fiscally conservative” Republicans made a move this afternoon that all but proves that “Boehner Lip Theory,” by introducing legislation to freeze the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell introduced the legislation, saying that it ensures that no one will pay higher income taxes next year than they pay now.
Of course, to truly put Democrats on the spot, they’ll need a vote on McConnell’s legislation. While they’re not guaranteed a vote, Democrats might push for one. Several of them have advocated extending all Bush tax cuts temporarily, and McConnell happily cited Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman’s statement from earlier today in which he said he’d do “everything I can to make sure Congress extends the so-called Bush tax cuts for another year and takes action to prevent the estate tax from rising back to where it was.”
More game playing from the Republicans. Some Democrats are nervous about going anywhere near the issue of extending the Bush tax cuts. Naturally Joe Lieberman is all too happy to step in. Poor Joe hasn’t gotten much attention since he tried to destroy the health care bill, so he’s probably thrilled at the prospect of mucking things up for the Democrats in a fresh new fight. Lieberman has no shame. He’s loaded, has health care courtesy of you and me, and he sees the lives and livelihood of Americans as a game. Just throw in another tax break for the Lieberman heirs, give Joe some dice and he’s good to go!
Recent opinion polls show that a majority of Americans would like to see the Bush tax cuts expire. The GOP myth has been debunked over and over on claims that those tax cuts are “paid for,” or that they don’t add to the deficit. Dick Cheney may have persuaded a few to believe that “deficits don’t matter,” but when your “deficit” comes in the form of a lost job and disappearing unemployment benefits, even a loyal “Bushie” smartens up. Those key words from the McConnell statement “no one” are aimed right at those who still believe:
The legislation, McConnell said, “ensures that no one in this country will pay higher income taxes next year than they are right now.”
“No one.” High income, low-income, no income.
President Obama isn’t kidding when he says the GOP are holding the middle class tax cuts hostage in order to keep the Bush tax cuts. He’s right on the money, and the GOP knows it. There’s a notable uptick in the GOP’s use of Twitter over the last few days as a media tool to lie and twist his words and say Obama is the one holding middle class tax cuts hostage. Why? Because they’re desperate and running out of ways to trick the voters in between distractions like Quran burnings and scaring people by exploiting 9-11. (They’re experts on that last one and they’ve taken it to a brand new low. Low EVEN for the GOP.)
So was John Boehner declaring a “BREAKING NEWS” calibre change in Republican policy by “standing up for the middle class” with his announcement? Is John Boehner’s skin color natural and found anywhere else in nature?
No, it’s more likely that Boehner threw the TV news media a bone he knew they would happily chase, and then say “we’re going to have to leave it there.” No more time for questions. After all, a lazy and easily distracted media will stick with the “shiny object” almost all the time. That way they might overlook another bigger story about John Boehner like this one from The New York Times:
“G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound To Lobbyists”
….They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed.
….“I get lobbied every day by somebody,” he said last month after a speech in Cleveland. “It could be by my wife. It could be the bellman. It goes on all day, every day, every place.”
Well, almost overlooked.