Payroll Tax Scuffle: Why Does the President Advance the ""Both Sides Do It" Myth?
The budget drama of the day is that Republicans are "caving" on the payroll tax cut extensions. Recall that in the insane topsy-turvy world of modern Republican Objectivist politics, payroll tax cuts aren't "good" tax cuts because they don't go to real "producers," so Republicans have to "concede" them to Democrats.
Why are the Republicans "caving?" Because Democrats would like to pass the payroll tax cut along with the commonsense Medicare doc fix and unemployment insurance extensions. Republicans oppose allowing the unemployed to eat and letting doctors get paid to take Medicare patients without ensuring draconian cuts in other areas. So they want to "compromise" by "acceding" to the payroll tax cut as a standalone bill, so that they can oppose the other two measures.
Democrats are, of course, objecting, demanding that the three provisions be tied together as previously agreed. Surely this is enough of an Alice-in-Wonderland situation that the President should have no trouble delivering a stinging and popular rebuke, right?
Here's what the President's spokesman Jay Carney had to say:
“Let’s just see how this process plays out. Extending unemployment insurance as well as the so-called doc fix is equally important — certainly very important, and very important for our economy. So the president supports extending all of it, and doing it in a way that is easily achievable if folks put ideological and partisan positions aside and just get it done for the American people.”
I give up.