This weekend Americans were treated to the ultimate political spectacle as Democratic and Republican lawmakers piled into the U.S. Senate Chamber for a rare Saturday vote onÂ two bills aimed at making Bush era tax cuts for the middle class permanent. The threat of a Republican filibuster doomed both bills from the start. In the end, the GOP achieved its goal of leaving the door open to an across the board tax cut extension, but at what cost?
For one thing, the Republican leadership in Washington may have just gambled away their one shot at making any of the tax cuts permanent.Â Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remains optimistic that Congress will vote to extend the tax cuts by the end of the year, according to Yahoo News. However, McConnell was recently quoted byÂ The New York Times as saying that Republicans would accept a temporary extension, so long as it included tax cuts for the rich as well.
In other words, the GOP just said no to an opportunity to win permanent tax cuts for the middle classÂ in order to preserve short-term tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. That move may not sit too well to well with the 98 percent of Americans would have benefited from the middle class tax cut extension. A recentÂ CBS News poll indicated that most Americans are not in favor of the Republican plan to extend all of Bush era tax cuts. It found 53% percent in favor of Democrat's proposal to extend the tax cuts only for households earning under $250,000 per year and individuals earning less than $200,000 per year. Only 26 percent wanted to see the tax cuts extended for all Americans, including the rich.
Republicans won handily in this year's mid-term elections by promising to represent the will of the people in Washington. Yesterday's vote is a clear indication that the current slate of GOP lawmakers is committed to representing monied interests first. Newly elected Republicans have yet to take office, making it hard to blame them for their party's failure to make tax cuts for the vast majority Americans permanent. Time will tell if this new batch of GOPers is more willing to compromise on the behalf of the American people. The fact that they've chosen to be led by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, two incumbents who've made their name by refusing to compromise with Democrats over the past two years, indicates that this won't be the case.
Official portrait of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. Public domain
Article Â©2010 David Anderson for Gather.com. All rights reserved