Wherever you go on news or business TV today, all the talk is about congressional “dysfunction” or the travesty of the House Republicans refusing to pass the Senate’s utterly lame two month extension of a payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, and a “doc fix” for Medicare.
Just because senators in a rush to get home for the holidays passed a spineless, pointless bill which has the potential to create incredible confusion in payroll systems across the nation does not mean that the House should have gone along.
To be sure, messaging can be a problem for the GOP. It always is.
On the floor of the House, one Democrat called Republicans the “Grinches who stole Christmas” while another, the hyper-anti-intellectual Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), said that the GOP had lit the Christmas tree on fire. And in today’s winning entry for mixed metaphor award, Lee said that Republicans were causing Americans to “drown in dusty and dark waters.” I kid you not.
In a brief press conference after the House vote to appoint conferees to work out a deal with the Senate — in a conference which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says will not happen unless the House passes the Senate bill first — a reporter asked John Boehner about President Obama’s saying that House Republicans should be more helpful, to which Boehner said, with an unusually aggressive edge, “I need the president to help out.”
Democrats everywhere are crying crocodile tears about a tax hike of over $1,000 for the average American because of House Republicans’ actions. But, like everything Democrats say about economic policy, it is a lie. The $1,000 number represents roughly the average benefit for a full year of the tax cut extension. For two months, the amount is about $160.