Perhaps the greatest irony of the tension between congressional Republicans, who want to hold the line on federal spending and the growth of government, and President Obama, who has ratcheted up federal spending and spurred the growth of the federal leviathan, is that he has outmaneuvered them on a plan to reduce the flow of revenue to Washington:
A payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans, set to expire at the end of this month, would be extended through December under a bipartisan deal announced early on Thursday by U.S. congressional leaders.
The accord would also renew expiring jobless benefits for millions of others and prevent a pay cut for doctors of elderly Medicare patients.
The comprehensive agreement represents a victory for President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress, and allows Republicans to put behind them a tax debate that threatened to hurt them in the November elections.
Seems the Democrat learned well from Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Tax cuts are good for the economy and popular with voters.
The president, however, hasn’t indicated how he plans to compensate for the funds that will no longer flow to Social Security. “The payroll tax,” as Mario Loyola reminds us, “is a uniform (non-progressive) tax invented as a way for all American workers to pay into the Social Security and Medicare benefits that virtually all of them will be eligible for when they retire.” And we learned this week that Social Security Is Failing Even Faster Than We Thought.
Consider how the president blamed his predecessor when we learned that the national debt had increased $4 trillion under his watch:
Mr. Obama blames policies inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt. He singles out:
- “two wars we didn’t pay for”
- “a prescription drug program for seniors…we didn’t pay for.”
- “tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for.”
Who’s paying for this tax cut, Mr. President?