Payroll tax cut

Congress Isn’t Interested in Discussing the Payroll Tax Cut Right Now

House Republicans on Tuesday declined to recognize a House Democrat who was trying to speak about the need for Congress to quickly resolve its differences about how to extend the payroll tax cut. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) gaveled today's pro forma session to order at about 2 p.m. After the House prayer and Pledge of […]

Another Festivus Miracle! Payroll Tax Compromise Reached

The Speaker of the Hizzous just finished speaking to reporters. "Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing," he said. Boehner also hinted that if some people would have been willing to stick around and work over the holidays, maybe they coulda got this thing done but you know how people can get around this time […]

It Appears That Both John Boehner and President Obama Are Prepared to Ruin Christmas for the Payroll Tax Cut

Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Obama spoke on the phone earlier today and both men seem pretty eager to get something accomplished re: the payroll tax cut. The Hill reports that Boehner reportedly told Obama, "Let’s get this done today,” while White House spokesman Jay Carney later said, "The ball is in the […]

David Cay Johnston: President Obama Has Out-Norquisted Grover Norquist

Granddaddy of tax gazetteers, David Cay Johnston, is poking at Grover Norquist again, this time over the quagmire that the Republicans find themselves in over President Obama’s payroll tax cut proposal. The very proposal that could make Obama the biggest Grinch of 2011. Ruined holidays aside, DCJ points out that if the Republicans shoot this down, they do so at the behest of what seems to be a very popular idea:

[N]umerous opinion polls show overwhelming public support for continuing tax cuts for workers and for raising taxes on millionaires. That has left Republican leaders no choice but to silently cry uncle and agree to the president’s request to extend and possibly expand the payroll tax cut.

The reason that Republicans aren’t so hot on the payroll tax cut is that it’s “temporary.” They’d rather see “permanent” tax cuts enacted, although those “permanent” tax cuts are never “permanent.” The “permanent” Bush tax cuts, for example, had to be “extended” last year because they were about to “expire” which basically makes them “temporary.” The payroll tax cut was originally enacted last year with the Bush tax cuts but as Paul Ryan says, it’s supposed to be like a holiday, which is to say, “We lived through it and we’ll just move on with our lives and never to speak of it again.” DCJ writes that this means Obama has beat the Republicans at their own game:

Having outsmarted Norquist, Obama gets to run for a second term as the champion of at least a $100 billion tax cut. Obama can even say that if Republicans had had their way, working people’s taxes would have gone up while taxes on billionaires would have gone down. And he gets to tell small business owners that, but for Republicans, their taxes would have gone down too.

This is a marketing fiasco for Republicans to rival the Ford Edsel and New Coke. Already more than 40 congressional Republicans have taken steps to distance themselves from Norquist, who scowls at the mere mention of what could have been his, but is now Obama’s, very popular tax cut.

In other words: Whose shorties are snagged now?

Republicans paint themselves into a tax-cut corner [DCJ/Reuters]

President Obama Just Might Ruin His Family Christmas for the Payroll Tax Cut

That’s what Harry Reid is saying anyway. I’m not a parent, so I’m not exactly sure how a man would explain to his daughters that they’ll have to spend Christmas on the beach without Dad but he can always Skype in from the West Wing, or he could take the Paul Ryan approach. [Reuters]