Sen. Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, believes that any extension to unemployment benefits "ought to be paid for." But when it comes to the $678-billion cost of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, the senator says no offsetting is necessary.Tax cuts are free just like when Bush made them, especially when they are for rich people. $678 billion over 10 years for the wealthy? Nobody has to pay for it. A fraction of that to help America's unemployed? We have to pay for that but cutting spending elsewhere, otherwise it's irresponsible.
In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday, Kyl argued that Congress and the Obama administration should extend the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush during his first term.
Extending the entire package of tax cuts would cost the US $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The Obama administration has argued in favor of allowing to expire at least the part of the tax cuts that applies to people earning over $250,000 a year. That portion is estimated to cost $678 billion over 10 years.
"Tell me, how are you going to pay that $678 billion to keep those Bush tax cuts for the wealthy?" Wallace asked Kyl.
"You should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes," Kyl said. "Surely Congress has the authority -- and it would be right -- if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."
Yes. Senator Jon Kyl believes you are that stupid, just like the rest of his House and Senate Republican buddies believe you are that stupid, and that you will shut up and do what your told and go back to hating Obama while these assholes continue the destruction of our economy like Bush started.
They're not even trying to hide it anymore, they're so sure that they will get control of the House next year. They're so sure you'll say "There's no difference between the Dems and the GOP, I just won't vote" that they're already giving away their master plan like a James Bond supervillain, secure in the knowledge that we'll let them.
They know you don't give a damn anymore. They're counting on it. And you know what? So is Obama, as Digby points out.
I'm guessing this is the return of the great Democratic strategy called "keeping your powder dry" --- for 2012.Nope. Obama sees the train coming, and he's getting out of the way. The rest of us? We're not going to be so lucky. 1994 by way of 1937, and the result is going to be a complete disaster.
Indeed, I'm inclined to think the White House believes they've already lost the congress so they are cutting their losses and looking ahead two years. And that means they would very much like to take a sharp turn to the right, particularly with talk of deficits and spending, in anticipation of the predictable Village narrative that they lost because they were too liberal. (All modern Democratic presidents do this, by the way, regardless of whether or not they lost their majority in the midterms. "Center-right" nation dontcha know.)
However if they do pursue a rhetorical conservative political strategy, they will be stuck with failed conservative policies, which they know are not going to be popular with anyone but the wealthy. It's a conundrum, at least when it comes to pesky voters (as opposed to pesky major donors.)
This is one of those gut check moments. The administration can make a real argument as Atrios suggests and do the right thing for themselves and the country or they can follow the demagogues, the Masters of the Universe and the Villagers and keep hoping that everything magically turns around so all those vaunted, precious Independents will come back in 2012 without them having to take any risks to Obama's personal popularity. (The liberals are expected to fall in line in the face of the inevitable GOP freakshow.) If Axelrod is the spokesman for the political team in the White House, and I assume he is, it appears they've decided to take the second course.
The congressional Dems are on their own for this one. "The legacy" is on the line and as with all recent presidents, that takes precedence over anything else.