Friday, September 03, 2010


You've probably seen this, from The Washington Post:

With just two months until the November elections, the White House is seriously weighing a package of business tax breaks - potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars - to spur hiring and combat Republican charges that Democratic tax policies hurt small businesses, according to people with knowledge of the deliberations.

Among the options under consideration are a temporary payroll-tax holiday and a permanent extension of the now-expired research-and-development tax credit, which rewards companies that conduct research into new technologies within the United States....

Right-wingers are crowing: "When All Else Fails, Do the Right Thing" is the headline of Jennifer Rubin's Commentary post; Hot Air says, "Great news: Left-wing president turns into tax-cutting conservative just before midterms."

Except that the Post says,

If administration officials can agree on a policy path, it is not clear that it would be approved in the current environment on Capitol Hill.

And I'm sure that's true. Even though this is their kind of proposal, and even though everyone agrees it would come too late to provide a real boost to the economy (and thus the Democrats) before the midterms, they'd still probably block it, because they don't actually care about the economy, or about American citizens, or even about their own ideas -- they just want to grind Obama and the Democrats deeper and deeper into the dirt. They'll find an excuse to block it -- probably what they'll do is complain that whatever Democrats propose in order to make sure this doesn't add to the deficit is unacceptable. See this Politico story:

The R-and-D tax cut, which congressional Democrats already have considered would, for example, be paid for by closing overseas corporate loopholes.

Closing overseas corporate loopholes? Nope, Democrats, we Republicans won't allow you to do that. Thanks for playing.

But Democrats should at least put the damn thing on the floor, because it goes so far in the direction of right-centrist Beltway conventional wisdom, and because it addresses the concerns of that most sacrosanct of groups -- not workers (heaven forfend) but business owners, including small business owners. They should put it on the floor and force Republicans to vote against a Republican-sounding idea. Maybe -- it's a slim chance, but maybe -- that will penetrate a few thick American skulls. Maybe that will make at least a few Americans realize that Republicans don't give a damn about them.

No comments: