There’s a lesson here for Harry Reid. Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi forced a floor vote on extending the Bush era tax cuts, for the middle class only. House minority leader John Boehner was so incensed at being outwitted procedurally, he called Pelosi’s brilliant maneuvering, “chicken crap.” However, the phrase might be more aptly applied to the Republican vote on the issue. All but three House GOPers voted against extending middle class tax cuts. In other words, Republicans voted to raise your taxes because tax cuts for multi-millionaires weren’t part of the package. But the Democrats managed to pass the bill without the GOP votes.
The Republicans continue to insist they have a mandate for millionaire welfare, but polling consistently shows that’s not true. In the latest poll cited here, only 26% support extending those cuts. Even 41 % of ordinary Republicans and 47% of independents agree tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. But the Republicans aren’t listening.
"Following the House vote, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California released a statement saying Democrats 'just don't get it.'"
"'Clearly, Congressional Democrats learned nothing from the lessons of November 2nd,' he said. 'The American people had a clear choice between those that want to cut taxes for all Americans and those that want to raise them and they chose decisively. Instead of living up to the mandate set by the American people, Congressional Democrats have defied the will of the American people.'"
Coincidently, Darrell Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress with holdings that “exceed $303.5 million.”
And let’s look at what kind of money we’re talking about here. “If the House/Obama plan were to be passed, according to the Tax Policy Center, a married couple with no children making $415,000 per year could expect to pay about $7,000 per year more in taxes.” If you break that down, it means this couple brings in $34,583 every MONTH. Their additional tax burden would be $583, leaving them only $34,000 a month in income. Who could live on that, huh?
This is what today’s Republican leadership is holding all business of the Senate hostage over. And rumor has it, that Harry Reid will not only not split the bill and make his chamber vote on middle class tax cuts only, but will be trading an extension of the tax cuts for millionaires to get unemployment benefits extended and the critical START treaty ratified.
Of course, we desperately need to get both those critical bills passed. But if I was Harry, I would make them vote for tradeoffs first. The GOP doesn’t exactly have a great track record of keeping their promises.