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SENTRY JOURNAL » Bush tax cuts, leadership, Mitch McConnell, November election, Obama, Obamacare, Stimulus, Uncategorized » Their Failure – Our Challenge

Their Failure – Our Challenge

In November the nation spoke clearly and loudly; they were done with the liberal policies of “hope and change”.  Obamacare had become a blemish for politicians, nobody dared speak of raising taxes, bailouts were taboo, and stimulus packages weren’t mentioned for fear of the people’s axe.  Oh how things were about to change!

In September the President wanted to try and pass a new stimulus before he lost his super majority.  In typical liberal fashion he deemed it a “Jobs Bill”.  He even went so far as to offer Bush-style tax cuts in the proposal in order to entice some GOPers to hop the great crevice.  He was asking for $50 billion more in infrastructure spending (even though we still haven’t spent all of it from the 1st Obama stimulus) but was offering Republicans $100 billion in R&D tax credits for businesses, and additional $12 billion in small business tax breaks, $30 billion to help unfreeze lending as well as the permanent extension of tax cuts for those making less than $250,000.  The Republicans rightly scoffed at the proposal.

Senate Minority “Leader” Mitch McConnell said that Americans are “still looking for the ‘shovel-ready’ jobs they were promised more than a year ago”.  House minority leader, John Boehner added, “We don’t need more government ‘stimulus’ spending.  We need to end Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree, stop their tax hikes and create jobs by eliminating the job-killing uncertainty that is hampering our small businesses.”  The bill never saw the light of day.

November came, Republicans won big, and now what?  We just caved on a bill that is extremely similar but worse than the one offered by Obama in September.  In fact, the left is praising this bill and can’t believe they were to get this done after the sweeping defeats in November.

“Left-leaning policy experts said the package did more to create jobs than they had thought possible after the Republicans’ midterm election victories. Robert Greenstein, Lawrence Mishel and John Podesta — who run prominent Washington research groups that range from liberal to staunchly liberal — all offered praise for the package. Of its estimated $900 billion-plus cost over two years, roughly $120 billion covers the high-end tax cuts and the estate tax cut, $450 billion covers Mr. Obama’s wish list and $360 billion covers the tax cut extensions both parties favored.” – Ritholtz

This is basically what Republicans got:  The Bush Tax Cuts were extended for 2 years.  The payroll tax that funds SS and Medicare was reduced by 2% for 1 year. they kept the AMT taxes from spreading to 22 million additional tax payers, new businesses can expense 100% of some investments in their first year and R&D tax credits were extended. 

What the Democrats got: Unemployment benefits were extended from what would have defaulted back to 26 weeks to 99 weeks for another year.  The estate tax was reinstituted and jumped from 0% to 35% for those inheriting $5 million or more over the next two years.

The President was able to pour what OpenCongress.org has revealed to be at least $900 billion federal dollars “back into the economy”.  This 13 month extension is worse than the $900 billion price tag it carries; what lurks below the surface is the bigger monster.  Let’s look at how this works.

“Each state has an unemployment insurance program that covers most employers. Generally these programs cover the first 26 weeks of unemployment insurance. (31 states have exhausted their reserves in paying for these programs and have been borrowing from the federal government, with interest, to be able to make payments.)” – Taxfoundation.org

This bill doesn’t mean that people who have been receiving unemployment checks for 99 weeks get any additional time; it only means that the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and federal Extended Benefits (EB) programs are allowed to continue for another year.  In other words this isn’t an extension of emergency funding for those with the most need, but an extension to the number of people who will have received payments from the EUC and EB – an obvious jolt for the jobs market (p(pff). 

Furthermore, this bill leaves the states out in the cold and, in essence, encourages MORE individuals to take the unemployment route due to the extended benefits.  The states simply cannot afford paying for these benefits.  Those 31 states that are already borrowing from the fed under the Federal Unemployment Account (FUA) have amassed $41 billion in debt.  (see chart) Another growing state debt that can’t be paid means another federal bailout request on the horizon. 

States are already facing their “Day of Reckoning” (Please watch!)

So someone explain to me how this bill is a GOP win? We received no permanent tax cuts, a rise in the immoral estate tax, and a HUGE extension of unemployment benefits.  This bill is nothing more than a back door stimulus package under a different name. 

Are we to believe that the GOP leadership didn’t know this was a stimulus package?  Of course they knew!  This is a classic example of the GOP cutting off their heads and standing on it for a better view.  It isn’t so much that they were duped by the President, but that they’re trying to dupe us as citizens.  All we’ve heard since this passed is how the President caved on the Bush Tax Cuts.  Hogwash!  Those extensions were coming without this “compromise” with the coming of the 112th Congress.

It’s time we let them know how we feel.  Below is the contact info for Mitch McConnell, the man who is supposed to be leading our party.  Do not close your browser until you’ve either called (number is on the page) or email him and let him know that you’re tired of Washington playing games.  If I can get 30 people to assure me that they’ve written or called him then I will march down to his office and hand deliver my letter to him…then post the video on the blog of course. 

Do your part for the Republic!

http://mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

UPDATE:
Mr. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a post titled “In Praise of Mitch McConnell” at his site.  It gives a slightly more positive spin on McConnell’s actions of the past two years.  I think that his post is fair given that he’s been on top of the “capitulation” for at least a couple of weeks.  I’m not sure that I give McConnell much as credit here for keeping the party together over the past two years as much as I would give credit to the Tea Party or the threat of a growing conservative voting bloc.  Either way, it’s a noteworthy post worth viewing.

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RightHandMan

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Filed under: Bush tax cuts, leadership, Mitch McConnell, November election, Obama, Obamacare, Stimulus, Uncategorized

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Comments
  • Mike December 22, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    I finally got this right and to the correct site. Very nice. I like and bookmarked it.

  • Steve Dennis December 22, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    It seems to me that the Republicans were afraid to let the Bush tax cuts expire before the new Congress, if they did they could have reinstituted the tax cuts retroactively. I think that they were afraid to go this way in case something happened and they were stopped from reinstating the Bush tax cuts, so they took what they felt was the safest path.
    Hopefully this is not a sign of what is to come in the new Congress, but we will be watching closely!
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Harry Reid takes the 1 trillion spending bill off of the tableMy Profile

  • John Carey December 22, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Great post Right! As you and I have already discussed this madness I must again state how disappointed I am in the Republicans during this lame duck session. They seem to have not gotten the message.

  • Harrison December 23, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    Nice site I’m just visiting the first time at the new location. I have added you guys to my links section. I look forward to reading more articles here.

    • RightHandMan
      RightHandMan December 23, 2010 at 5:33 PM

      We’re glad to have you and your support.

  • Bunkerville December 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Et tu, Brute, He was down for the count.
    Bunkerville recently posted..A Bit of Christmas JoyMy Profile

  • Teresa December 23, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    I agree with Steve Dennis. I think the new Congress will have more clout and won’t be compromising like they did to keep the Bush tax cuts.
    Teresa recently posted..Animals Singing Christmas CarolsMy Profile

    • RightHandMan
      RightHandMan December 23, 2010 at 5:37 PM

      There’s no doubt that the “new blood” will have more clout…but that hasn’t meant much in the past. As Dick Morris pointed out last week, as Democrats gets weaker in numbers they get stronger in power because they focus on their roots. Republicans in power usually means they give in to the rhetoric from the left and begin to compromise in order to look like they are willing to work with the minority.

      I’m hopeful because I think we’ve got some good people in office and some bad people out…but there’s a lot more of this weed picking and planting that needs to be done before we have a growing garden.

  • […] is sharing some of the lovely “fan mail” that she receives. The Sentry Journal, a new blog, has Their Failure-Our Challenge, as well as a post by a handsome blogger that you all know.A Conservative Teacher has his reaction […]

  • 5etester December 24, 2010 at 5:24 AM

    The actions of the lame duck Congress illustrate that the GOP didn’t hear the voter’s message either.Of course we all hope they will get it right the next two years,but I see nothing of substance yet to give me reason to believe it.

    If they’re afraid to merely push back enough to get the optional lame duck votes pushed into next year,why would anyone believe that they will now do the heavy lifting?Forced austerity is going to be extremely unpopular,however necessary.Do those who “hope” they do the right thing believe they will sacrifice enough to only serve until 2012?That’s a likely result if they really cut what is necessary.

    It’s an unfortunate thing that those in office who actually do what is necessary won’t be recognized for it until posterity judges their actions.2012 will come too quick as they will have to make it much worse before it can get better.