Congress Reaches Tentative Deal On “Temporary” Payroll Tax Extension


Of course, many in the media and the Democrat Party (but, I repeat myself) are portraying this as Republicans caving. Pretty much because this is about the only thing that Obama has done that is actually popular, to a degree. Why removing money from the Social Security fund is popular, I’m not sure

(Washington Post) Congressional negotiators reached a tentative deal Tuesday to extend a payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits and Medicare payment rates for doctors, while finding more than $50 billion in cuts to reduce the effect on the federal deficit.

While President Obama and congressional leaders publicly jousted over the negotiations, senior Democrats and Republicans worked behind the scenes toward a compromise that would extend the tax and unemployment benefits through the year. A deal also would mean that doctors would not see a drop in rates paid by Medicare, according to senior aides in both parties.

Aha! Republicans are helping the Medicare system from the Democrats past legislation that reduced doctor reimbursements, which saw doctors refusing to take on more Medicare patients

Obama was alluding to a payroll tax debate in December, when Senate leaders forged a bipartisan agreement on a two-month extension only to have House GOP leaders balk at the plan. His aides have said this package probably is the last major piece of legislation that the West Wing would focus on until the November elections.

If I’m reading this correctly, the White House is saying that they just dumped their own budget on Congress, and aren’t going to bother with it for the rest of the year. Way to abdicate leadership and Constitutional responsibility, guys and gals!

The tax holiday, which is set to expire at the end of this month, saves the average worker more than $80 a month. Budget officials estimated that an additional 10-month extension would cost the Treasury about $100 billion.

In Washington, $100 billion is chump change, and means $100 billion will have to be financed through China to pay out Social Security benefits. I can understand why a bare majority of 54% favor the cut: most of them are unlikely to actually see benefits when they retire, as the system is pretty close to being insolvent. However, if Obama thinks he can pander to young folks, he can think again: only 48% support, 45% against, in the 18-34 age group. They typically have lower salaries, and see less benefit from this tax.

But, Obama cautioned, “you can’t take anything for granted here in Washington until my signature is actually on it,” and he encouraged Americans to lobby their representatives in Congress to approve the measure “without drama, without delay.”

“Let’s keep making sure the American people’s voices are breaking through until it’s finally, absolutely done,” he said.

He wasn’t too keen on listening to the American people’s voices when it came to (no)Stimulus and ObamaCare. And, interestingly, as the Hill delves into the CNN poll cited above

Democrats are evenly split on the issue, with 48 percent favoring a tax cut and 49 percent opposing. Nearly six in 10 Republicans support reducing the payroll tax, while 38 percent do not believe in doing so.

Wait, most Dems do not want the tax cut? Someone tell Obama. Someone should also tell him that support for the cut has dropped from a high of 65% in September. Probably because people understand what this cut actually does.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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