• 48°

Can't argue with Obama on this one

Scripps Howard News Service
In the curious way Washington works, congressional Republicans never felt that the Bush tax cuts, the origin of our current tide of red ink, needed to be offset by raising taxes or cutting spending elsewhere in the budget.
Neither did the Republicans or the Bush administration believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan needed to be paid for by tax increases. We paid for those wars the same way we paid for the tax cuts — by borrowing the money, mostly from ourselves.
Now that President Barack Obama is refashioning himself as a tax cutter, to some extent, the Republicans are in a bind. As a party, they are institutionally in favor of tax cuts, but as the newly refashioned party of anti-spending, they now feel obliged to pay for them.
The centerpiece of Obama’s latest jobs program is another cut in the payroll tax on employees. This year it was cut from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent, and Obama proposes dropping that even further, to 2 percent.
The Democrats planned to offset some of the costs by a 3.25 percent income surcharge on millionaires. The payroll-tax cut and the surcharge came to a vote in the Senate last week, and while it got a 51-to-49 majority, it fell short of the necessary 60-vote supermajority. That’s an indication that Obama, after some further horse-trading, will get his payroll-tax cut.
A Republican plan to pay for the tax cut by freezing federal pay and cutting the federal work force by 10 percent through attrition got hammered, losing 20 to 78, with 26 Republicans defecting.
The Senate debate was likely a preview of the 2012 campaign, when Democrats will strive mightily to paint the Republicans as defenders of the rich and privileged. The payroll-tax cut is set to expire at the end of the month. If it does, Obama said last week, it means the “Senate Republicans chose to raise taxes on nearly 160 million hardworking Americans because they refused to ask a few hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.”
That charge may be getting a sympathetic reception. A new New York Times-CBS poll shows that nearly 7 out of 10 believe Republicans favor the rich. Obama, it seems, somehow outflanked the Republicans on both the left and the right on the tax issue.

Comments

Comments closed.

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant

Kannapolis

Kyle Seager drives in winning run in first game as Mariners split doubleheader with Orioles

Local

City exhausts this year’s funds for Innes Street Improvements, Municipal Services District grant programs

Landis

Landis adopts amendments to Zoning Ordinance related to signs, Planning Board terms

Nation/World

Cop, police chief resign 2 days after Black motorist’s death

Nation/World

Expert says cop was justified in pinning down George Floyd

Crime

Blotter: April 13

Coronavirus

County switches vaccines for Livingstone clinic after federal, state guidance

Coronavirus

US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

Education

Superintendent talks first 100 days, dives into district data

Business

‘It was an answer to a call:’ TenderHearted Home Care celebrates 10 years of providing care at home

News

Political Notebook: Local polls find increasing number of North Carolinians want COVID-19 vaccine

News

Trial begins on challenge to latest NC voter ID law

Local

Burch, Fisher, Marsh honored as 2021 recipients of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award

Landis

Landis board talks revenues, budget planning, department updates

College

College baseball: Catawba rolls 7-1 and 24-1

Nation/World

Student fires at officers at Tennessee school, is killed

Nation/World

Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun

Crime

Man receives consecutive prison sentences for sex offenses

Education

RSS Board of Education approves Faith Elementary sale

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department receives 400 Pfizer, 800 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for week

Crime

Blotter: Accident in Food Lion only weekend shooting to produce injuries