Remember last summer when Republicans learned during the debt ceiling debacle that even when they have the same approximate goal as Democrats do, they can still hold the Dems’ testicles to the grindstone by playing chicken on any given issue that the Dems want to pass even slightly more than they might?
Yeah, well, so does John Boehner.
From the LA Times:
House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that he expects the House to vote down the payroll tax deal brokered by Senate Republicans and Democrats, and push for further negotiations in the year-end battle over extending the tax holiday.
The Senate bill continues the lower tax rate for two months, giving Congress more time to haggle over how to pay for a longer-term holiday.
The extension of the tax break is President Obama’s top legislative priority and a key element of his jobs plan. House Republicans have long been cool to the idea, but now say they are committed to passing a one-year extension and no less.
In case the fucked-upped-ness of this whole situation is too blatant to parse (like sitting in the front row of a Transformers movie), let me break it down for you: both the donks and the ‘phants want to extend the payroll tax cut that ultimately puts more money into your pocket and mine. The difference is, the donks only want to do so for two months while they figure some shit out before extending it even further at a later date. The ‘phants, on the other trunk, want to extend for a minimum of a year at this time — otherwise, they’ll torpedo the whole deal. This is equivalent to you and I both wanting to buy some Oreos, except you only want to eat a couple of them now until you can call your mom and see what you’re having for dinner, whereas I wanna eat the whole package right this second — dinner be damned! — and am willing to burn down the convenient store if you don’t go along with me.
Or something like that. (There’s also probably a logical way to extend this metaphor by bringing a glass of milk into the equation, but I worry Republicans would just think I was supporting the secret homosexual agenda and get distracted or something.)
Update by Tom: No, the most fucked up thing about this is that the Democrats compromised their way down to a two month extension, which the Republicans pretended to be satisfied with, only to decide that their extension’s expiration came too close to the State of the Union (which would allow Obama to point to them in the speech as the people who wanted to raise your taxes), and so now they’re being jackasses and torpedoing the whole thing entirely because they’re craven opportunists who don’t give a shit about the country.
Our political process is a joke.