Democrats must think Americans are stupid.
That's the only conclusion I can come up with after House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer blamed the Senate for failing to act to extend the Bush tax cuts. Hoyer later admitted that the House--with their 79-vote majority of Democrat party members--would "probably not" get around to considering whether to extend the tax cuts before adjourning at the end of the year.
Okay, if you haven't been following the story closely this may not make sense. So here's the summary:
Way back in June of 2001, when Bush was prez (remember those good times? So long ago...), he advocated--and congress passed--a package of across-the-board tax cuts designed to encourage consumer spending and job growth--as all tax cuts do. But in order to get the bill passed, the GOP had to agree that the cuts would expire on 1 Jan, 2011 unless a future Congress voted to extend the measure.
So here we are about 3 months before the scheduled expiration date, and the Republicans have asked the Democrats--who, you may recall, have strong majorities in both House and Senate-- to extend the cuts. The Dems don't want to do this, but also don't want to be seen as raising your taxes
(which would be the effect if the cuts expire).
Voting against an extension would give GOP candidates a huge campaign advantage ("My opponent--the incumbent Democrat--voted against extending the tax cuts, which means you're gonna have to pay more in taxes...")
What to do, what to do?
Aha! Simply use their huge majority to refuse to let any part of this question come up for a floor vote!
Clever, huh? By refusing to bring the question to a vote, the Dems avoid giving the GOP an issue to beat 'em with.
Instead they'll wait til after the November election--at which time incumbent Dems who lost can vote against any extension without fear of consequences (since they will have already lost).Of course they can't admit that strategy either,
since it would probably strike most voters as too cynical. So they'll pretend to be so overloaded with work that they just can't possibly spare the time until after January 1st.
But don't feel sorry for the bastards--because amazingly, they've come up with a way to use the tax issue to actually help
Dem candidates in the election: They're telling their media friends that the Republicans are blocking a bill to extend the cuts.
Yes, you read that right.
But..but...but...how in the world could the GOP--with only 178 votes compared to the Dems 257--could block anything?
wondering that, right?) Great question. That's one of the reasons you probably won't see a video of a Dem representative actually making the "GOP is blocking a vote" claim: It would leave the speaker open to devastating campaign counterattacks saying exactly what I just wrote.
Instead you'll see stories by their allies in the MFM saying exactly the same thing. Because the media can print or broadcast anything they like--no matter how outrageously false or stupid--without fear of anyone calling them on it.
The only people who call them on falsehoods are right here on the Internet--and of course everyone knows that nothing you read on the net is true, right?
In any case, the Dem talking point is that they really really want
to extend the Bush tax cuts, and are ready right now-- right this second!--to take up a bill to that effect. But the Dems feel it's just not fair
to extend the cuts to the Evil Rich, while the GOP--eternal friend of the Rich and enemy of the Common Man don'tcha' know--insists that the tax cuts be extended for everyone.
And the average Dem voter thinks, "Y'know, that's just what I'd expect: The Repubs would rather not extend tax cuts to anybody instead of letting the Dems raise taxes on the rich." And he'll be mad at the Republicans.
And sure enough, we're seeing headlines like "Obama tax cut extension now jeered by GOP; Election-year standoff looms" (Chicago Tribune, Sept 13 2010.
) Click on the link to see for yourself. Key sentences:
President Obama is pushing for a permanent middle-class tax cut, but only if Bush-era cuts for top earners are eliminated....Democrats are using [the disagreement] to portray themselves both as champions of the middle class and as deficit hawks, because, they say, GOP proposals would depress government revenues.
Too cute, huh. And the GOP can't win this kind of dirty fight, because 90-some percent of newspapers and TV networks back the Democrats. If congress does come to an agreement on extending the Bush tax cuts, the Dems will take full credit, and their friends in the MFM will help them sell the outrageous lie. And if the Repubs end up conceding on extending the tax cuts to the rich, the Dems and MFM will take credit for holding firm to their bedrock principle that the rich deserve to be forced to pay ever-higher taxes. "For the children, y'know..."
Here's Hoyer again, this time quoted in that staunchly pro-Democrat blog, "The Hill."
Note how he talks about a "Republican increase in taxes on the middle class," but isn't asked to explain, and of course doesn't volunteer any details:
Democrats have "absolutely pledged by the end of the year" to counter what he called a "Republican increase in taxes on the middle class" -- as the Bush tax cuts had an expiration built in.
"There will be no increase in middle-income taxes," Hoyer vowed.
This is a perfect execution of the MFM beard: Imply that the Republicans are actually pushing to increase taxes, and count on your friends in the media not to question you.
Sure do wish the GOP would stop playing nicey-nicey with their lying, throat-cutting opponents. Unfortunately it'll never happen. Something about Principles.