Erixon is a junior rhetoric and politics major can be contacted at email@example.com
In the next couple of weeks as Congress considers President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act and the “super committee” starts to get down to details, both major parties are gearing up for a big fight over taxes, but it’s not the fight you think it is. The payroll tax cut, which was part of the 2010 tax deal passed last December, is set to expire at the end of this year unless it is renewed.
Republicans, who have in the last year threatened to shut down the government and force the U.S. to default on its debt over the very idea of raising taxes, are balking at the section of Obama’s jobs bill that cuts taxes on working Americans by $110 billion over the next year, and Democrats are suiting up to fight for it tooth and nail.
Yes, you heard that right. Republicans are digging in their feet in order to raise taxes. Why? Well, the most obvious reason is that this tax cut was conceived and proposed by the Obama administration as an attempt to spur employment and help get the American people back to work. So naturally, the Republicans in Congress were predisposed to hate it.
However, I believe there is a more fundamental reason for Republicans’ opposition to this particular tax cut. After all, not only are we talking about a party that can’t say no to tax cuts, we are talking about a party that can’t say yes to a net revenue increase. Each and every Republican in Congress has signed Grover Norquist’s unbreakable pledge to not raise taxes in any way. This tax must be different – this tax must be special.
Well, it is. This tax is almost exclusively aimed at helping working people, the poor and the middle class. If you are running a large corporation or making more than $250,000 per year, this tax cut won’t hurt you, but it doesn’t exactly do much to help you either. And that is the root of the Republican opposition to this tax cut.
As it turns out, the Republican Party is not the anti-tax party, the fiscal conservative party or the small government party. They are the party of wealthy and corporate interests. Because this tax cut doesn’t do anything for the people who are donating to their campaigns and super PACs, they are simply not interested.
Put simply, this is shameful. This is a difficult time for our economy, and working people are suffering while the corporate interests behind Republican super PACs are raking in record profits. This is not a time for politics; this is a time for action.