A compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication and mutual acceptance of terms that often involving variations from an original goal or desire. In Republican circles, the concept of balance and tolerance of another viewpoint that is not conservative in nature results in extremism that can be considered as an antonym to compromise. Since President Obama’s inauguration, the notion of compromising to govern is non-existent, and it is in part because of Republican’s inability to acknowledge they do not rule America, and in part because of their intense hatred of any policy that does not enrich the wealthy. Their abhorrence of compromise reared its ugly head again over President Obama’s insistence that 160-million working Americans receive a payroll tax cut, and although Republicans acquiesced and approved the cuts, they cannot celebrate the compromise because it helps working Americans, will improve the economy, and was President Obama’s idea.
House Speaker John Boehner said the tax cut was a “fair agreement” and that he supported it, but instead of boasting that Republicans are able to work in a bipartisan manner to help Americans, he assailed President Obama’s handling of the economy. According to Boehner, the payroll tax cut was necessary only because President Obama failed to sufficiently revive the sluggish economy. Boehner’s statement reflects a recurring Republican pattern of avoiding celebrating legislation that resulted from compromise. Republicans are incapable of comprehending that 83% of Americans say it is extremely important that Republican leaders work with President Obama and Democrats to pass agreeable new legislation. However, as usual for Boehner and Republicans, instead of celebrating the compromise, he lied about the economy, the payroll tax cut, and President Obama’s stimulus.
Boehner failed to mention the tax cut gave more provisions favorable to Republicans and instead attempted to shift attention to the President’s record on the economy. The GOP launched coordinated statements denouncing the 2009 stimulus package on the eve of its third anniversary, and failed to mention that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported the stimulus saved or created 3.3 million jobs and saved the American automobile industry. The Republican also omitted the simple fact the stimulus was necessary after Bush-Republicans crashed the economy with unfunded tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and an unfunded Medicare prescription plan. If Boehner or any Republican thinks the President could revive the economy in three years after 8 years of Republican malfeasance, they are deluded.
The House Speaker also said, ”Let’s be honest, this is an economic relief package, not a bill that’s going to grow the economy and create jobs.” Yes, it is an economic relief package, but it also creates jobs and grows the economy if the past year is any indication. According to several economists, extending the payroll tax cuts will add between 750,000 and 1 million jobs and add 1 percentage point to economic growth as well as pump “$120 billion into U.S. households in 2012.” Regardless of what Boehner and Republicans call the payroll tax cut, it does create jobs and grow the economy. The issue for Republicans is that it was President Obama’s plan and did not enrich the wealthy or their corporations. The results of the President’s sound economic policy are in stark contrast to the standard Republican practice of giving the wealthiest 1% tax cuts, and they should be nervous, if not mortified at the President’s success.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Reserve, three different measures demonstrate more consumer spending since President Obama was sworn in, but especially since the economic stimulus and payroll tax cut were implemented. There are also multiple measures that show the unemployment picture is improving. New unemployment claims, the number of long-term unemployed, and the unemployment rate are all decreasing as consumers are regaining confidence and spending. It is noteworthy that Republicans have done absolutely nothing to help create jobs, opposed the stimulus, and waged a ferocious fight to extend the wealthy’s Bush-era tax cuts that helped tank the economy in exchange for a year of payroll tax cuts for working people. The GOP’s refusal to compromise or learn from their failed economic policy is evident in Republican candidates seeking the nomination for president because the frontrunners both propose over $6.5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that will magnify the damage Bush-Republicans caused and that President Obama is having to clean up. It is beyond belief that Boehner or any Republican dare accuse the President of hurting economic growth when they cannot compromise and raise taxes on the wealthy to make up for the entitlements the GOP is intent on continuing.
Boehner and his Republican cohorts are fools for attacking the President instead of celebrating the compromise that helps 160-million working Americans. The American people read charts, unemployment reports, and have more cash to spend than they have for a few years so telling them the President’s economic policy has failed is not wise. One would think that with Congress’s approval rating hovering around awful, and the American people demanding Republicans compromise with President Obama and Democrats, they would be shouting from rooftops that they compromised to help working Americans. Apparently, their fury at giving 160-million working families tax relief instead of the ultra-rich overrides their common sense and electoral wisdom. However, since they are relentlessly pursuing their goal of enriching the wealthy as their uncompromising economic policy, it is not surprising they consider a compromise to help working Americans a failure. Working Americans are celebrating the compromise and they will not forget who pushed recalcitrant Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut, and how they are vindictive and embarrassed at finally compromising to do something positive for working Americans.