Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Republicans are Playing Scrooge this Christmas

Republicans in the House are looking more and more like Ebenezer Scrooge. The GOP is well known for its anti-environmental ambitions and now through their refusal to support the payroll tax cut extension, they are launching an assault on average Americans. Although many in the GOP signed a pledge refusing to increase taxes, it would appear this only applies to the tax increases for the wealthy.

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together to approve an extension of the payroll tax cut that would benefit American families. But many Republicans in the House are now refusing to even vote on that compromise. If House Republicans do not get behind the extension of the tax holiday, taxes will go up for 160 million Americans who can least afford it.

Thirty-nine Senate Republicans voted for the bill due to a provision that forces the administration to decide on the fate of the environmentally destructive Keystone XL oil sands pipeline within 60 days. In the spirit of the season the Democrats gave in on the unpopular Keystone XL provision. However Republicans in the House are in no mood to compromise.

The payroll tax cut is important to American families struggling in a difficult economy. A typical family gets about $40 with each paycheck from this tax cut, that amounts to about 1000 per year for the average family.

One House Republican referred to this debate as "high-stakes poker." Republicans need to understand that this is not a game. The American public does not appreciate the fact that Republican Representatives are playing poker with their financial well-being.

A letter from David Plouffe, the Senior Advisor to the President, said "We've been fighting for months to make sure taxes on the middle class don't go up on January 1st." He is asking Americans to weigh in on the debate, "Tell us what your family will give up if your taxes increase. We'll highlight stories like yours publicly so that they're part of the debate here in Washington. What's missing here in Washington is your voice."

"Too many just don't understand the perspective of a working family. They need to hear what it's like to be part of the middle class in this country," Plouffe added. To send your thoughts to the White House click here.

Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives indicated that Democrats will not support the GOP's effort to reopen the debate, dismissing it as a trick. “We are not falling for that stunt again,” she said.

Pelosi made reference to the “Peanuts” cartoon series, saying she would not play Charlie Brown to Boehner’s Lucy. In the famous cartoon Lucy taunts Charlie Brown into attempting to kick a football, only to have Lucy pull it away at the last moment.

“He is not Lucy and we are not Charlie Brown,” she said.

Democrats said they would stay in Washington throughout the Christmas holiday trying to encourage the GOP to pass the two-month extension.

As we enter the election cycle of 2012, Obama's approval rating is on the rise and this may be just the Christmas present the President wanted. Republicans who put the fossil fuel industry ahead of average Americans should expect little more than a lump of coal.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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