By a 51-48 vote the Senate passed President Obama’s plan cut taxes for the middle class and end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. An election year trap has now been set for House Republicans as they will have to kill tax cuts for the middle class.
Republican and Democratic Senate leaders set the stage for passage of the bill by waving the 60 vote rule, which allowed the legislation to pass with simple majority vote.
Republicans played their role perfectly by complaining that Democrats were voting to raise taxes on America’s “job creators.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I mean, here’s the Democrat plan for the economy: we’ll get this thing going again by raising taxes. Let’s take more money out of a small business and send it to Washington that’s how we’ll create jobs. Let us create the jobs instead of the small business owners out there — they don’t create the jobs anyway, Washington does. If you’re looking for the legislative equivalent of the President’s now famous view that ‘You didn’t build that’, this is it.They don’t think you deserve to keep what you’ve earned because you’re not responsible for earning it. They are. That’s the message Democrats are sending with today’s votes, that you’re not responsible for your success, Washington is. So give us your money, and we’ll handle it for you. That’s their tax plan. That’s their plan for the economy and jobs.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “The majority of Americans, including a significant majority of Republicans, agree taxes should remain low for the middle class and the top 2 percent should pay their fair share to reduce the deficit. As I said, the majority of Republicans agree. The only place there is no agreement is with the Republicans in Congress.”
See how short and simple the Democratic argument is? McConnell had to weave an entire smokescreen of falsehoods centered around job creators and small businesses to justify his party’s opposition, whereas Reid was able to cut through the clutter with a simple argument about fairness. The traditional roles of the two parties have been reversed, and Democrats find themselves with the simple moral argument that is wildly popular with the American public.
The passage of the bill gave Senate Republicans a chance to play politics, which the Democrats happily traded for an opportunity to put Mitt Romney and House Republicans in an impossible position. Let’s be honest, Romney does not want to be out on the campaign trail defending tax cuts for himself and his fellow millionaires and billionaires. In fact, he wishes that the issue would just go away. Romney’s problem is that the tea fueled House Republicans are willing to fight to the death to keep all of the Bush tax cuts, and they are willing to take Romney down with them.
The House GOP desperately wants this showdown, and President Obama is happy to give it to them.
Obama and the Senate Democrats have set a trap for the Republicans. House Republicans are going to dig in on the Bush tax cuts, and everyday that this issue dominates the news will be a win for Obama. Voters agree with the president on this issue and the White House will be using using the House Republican opposition to talk about tax fairness, while Mitt Romney refuses to release his tax returns.
By using the tension and conflict within their own party against them, President Obama has set up the Republicans to fail. House Republicans have the choice of either passing the Democratic plan and helping their presidential candidate, or killing the Senate bill and potentially destroying their nominee. Since this is the dysfunctional Republican House we are talking about, everyone already knows what they are going to do.
The House Republicans will reject the Senate passed bill, and screw Mitt Romney.
Obama has the Republicans figured out. What the House Republicans don’t get is that by engaging in their predictable path of obstruction destruction, they are helping Barack Obama win a second term.