Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the Republican whip, told different interviewers that they expect Congress to vote for the tax cuts, which have been in effect for almost a decade, to continue unaltered for at least several years in exchange for an agreement to extend an emergency unemployment program that expired last week for millions of people.
"Obviously, the president won't sign a permanent extension of the current tax rates. So we're going to have some kind of extension. I'd like one as long as possible," McConnell told host David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press." Moments later, he added: "I think we will extend unemployment compensation. . . . We're working on that package. . . . I think we're going to get there."
We are trading the long-term benefits of a tax increase on those who are doing quite nicely in the current economy, thank you, for a few weeks' extension of benefits.
We can do better. I think if we tied the unemployment benefits to a jobs creation bill (and there has to be at least one in the hopper now), it sends a far better message that Congress, this Democratic Congress, has the interests of the working and middle classes at heart, and then let the tax cuts die just to prove it.
We're going to have to restructure taxes next session anyway, and the Democrats, curiously, will have a bigger say in that, since they don't have to wrangle 60 votes in the Senate.
Weird to say, huh? They had a 60 vote minority, and the influence of asshats from sparsely populated states like Nebraska and Arkansas was grossly overstated because of it. Now, we can basically tell the Nelsons and Lincolns of the Congress to fuck off (I know, Lincoln lost. Good riddance). Your "services" are no longer required.
We'll fight this fight on ideology now.