Tax Cut Kabuki
In the slow waltz on
Reid did so via a parliamentary maneuver whereby the issue was decided by a straight majority rather than the two-thirds usually required to avoid a filibuster. The measure passed, 51-48, with Democratic votes. The House Republicans, who only recently had staged another showcase vote defeating the tax-the-rich scheme, had assumed the Senate Democrats would have to be recorded voting against the House bill.
It's all, of course, part of the 2012 election dance over which party cares most about the middle class that is seen as the key battleground in November, for the presidency and control of
For what it's worth, Reid's gambit enables the Democrats for the time being to cast the Republicans as willing to throw the middle-class baby out with the bath water just to save the cuts for income over
The Bush tax cuts were enacted nearly a decade ago as, if you'll pardon the expression, a stimulus of federal dollars to middle-class and upper-income Americans to spur buying and hence economic growth. The Democratic argument now is that the middle class still needs the cuts desperately but the rich are doing fine as usual.
The debate neatly dovetails, if implicitly, with the Obama-Romney fight for the Oval Office: Obama is the bleeding-heart liberal advocate of government largesse to the middle class; Romney is the Daddy Warbucks business tycoon looking out for his well-heeled peers. Obama is the plodding grasshopper, Romney the
Senate Minority Leader
The determination of the Senate Democrats to cast the blame for inaction on the House Republicans was seen in the rare appearance of Vice President
During the debate, in which the presiding officer is barred from participating, McConnell chided the customarily loquacious Biden on his forced silence. The vice president just grinned as the Republican version was defeated by a vote of 54 to 45 and the Democratic proposal passed.
And so the presidential campaign drags on through the hot summer months not only on the speaking tours of the two candidates and their surrogates and in
Romney in turn insists that Obama denigrates capitalism, twisting one of the president's recent remarks to suggest that the president asserted that small businessmen didn't "build" their enterprises. He ignores Obama's point that road-building and other infrastructure maintenance paid for by taxpayers have made them partners in the success.
And so they go on, like two weary boxers holding on in the clinches, waiting for the bell to ring ending another indecisive round. A lot of us, meanwhile, await with diminishing interest the conventions, the candidate debates and the end of it all in November.
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Tax Cut Kabuki | Politics
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