Saturday, January 24, 2009

Making Work Pay... and Pay... and Pay

Jog my memory, will ya?

During the election cycle, there was a massive bailout passed over the objections of most Americans. Am I right? Did this happen? I remember being so irritated that McCain couldn't even muster up an aversion to it - because it would have helped swing things his way. Instead, he sat there during the "debates" and calmly said that the bailout was the right thing to do. Never mind that the American people were completely opposed to it. 

But Obama, in his first week in office, has "stepped squarely into the fractious effort in Congress to assemble an $825 billion economic recovery package..." Yes, again. See, apparently, the first $850 billion didn't do the trick. And the Democrats are hoping that throwing more money at the problem will save the day. 

Also at issue this first week was Obama's view that those who pay no income taxes should be receiving "refunds." Obama and No. 2 House Republican Eric Cantor squared off on the issue. Apparently, Mr. Cantor outlined the Republican line of thinking on giving refunds to people who have not even paid, and Obama's response was, "You're correct, there's a philosophical difference, but I won, so we're going to prevail on that." And he's right. He did win. And they will prevail. 

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says, "Anyone who belittles cooperation resigns him or herself to a state of permanent legislative gridlock. And that is simply no longer acceptable to the American people." But I'm an "American person," and I am totally okay with some gridlock. Even permanent gridlock. There are some things that should not receive cooperation. I think this is where the Republican party has gone wrong, actually. They appear to have no backbone... no resolve. 

The Obama administration has said that the "Making Work Pay" tax credit (where refunds are given to people who don't pay taxes) is "nonnegotiable." So the Republicans' attempt to introduce legislation that doesn't include this is being stomped down. They had wanted to reduce the two lowest income-tax brackets from fifteen percent to ten, and from ten percent to five. According to Bob Williams from the Tax Policy Center, those "are not the right kinds of cuts. You want to put money into the hands of people who will spend it." Apparently the only people we can trust to spend money these days are those who don't pay taxes. 

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