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Payroll Tax Battle Shows No End In Sight

Payroll Tax Battle Shows No End In Sight

Federal employees got a timely email yesterday, and no, it wasn’t about the upcoming holidays.  It was a warning of a looming government shutdown that could happen shortly due to an inability of Congress to pass another spending bill.  At issue?  The Senate says it will not pass the budget until a bill to extend the payroll tax holiday is approved.  The House, meanwhile, says it already passed one, and it’s not their fault if the Democrats don’t like it.

The spending bill itself has essentially been agreed to by both sides of the aisle. But if it is passed, it allows the GOP to leave for an end of the year break, ending the payroll tax holiday and raising taxes on 160 million people.  And considering how anxious many in both parties are to just call the 2011 session over and go home, the possibility of Congress just taking flight once the spending bill is final is very real.

But the White House is asking for more time to go through all of the details of the spending bill, especially the myriad of policy riders attached to it, and requested a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown on Friday at midnight.  Another CR would allow the spending bill to pass next week, hopefully in conjunction with a new, agreed on, payroll tax extension, the administration hopes.

And if the payroll tax holiday does continue, it looks like once more it will be due to Democrats giving into major Republican demands, rather than a compromise from both sides.  Already word of a plan to drop the “millionaire surtax” requirement for paying for the extension, a proposed 2 percent increase in taxes for those who made more than $1 million in income a year, is in the works, with Democrats looking ready to use freezing federal pay and other middle income cuts to pay instead.

Would Republicans still block the payroll tax extension, even after getting one of the biggest concessions out there?  Not if they are smart.  The latest polling shows that nearly 60 percent of Americans want the payroll tax cut extended.  There’s not nearly enough millionaires being protected to make up for those lost votes in 2012.

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24 comments

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11:05AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

Haven't you heard? they invented a time machine that can take you back hundreds of years into the past, it's called the Republican party.

1:52AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

no more dammed republicains on or land,vote them home for ever,we need to reelected obama for or rights and freedom,and or children

8:05PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

Can anyone explain how the Repugnantscum party can get more than 24% in an election? Maybe Democrats and Independents do not come out in the numbers on polling day, as the fanatical ne0=con right wing TP anti-christ hypocrites! The evangelical "praise the lord" and starve the population retards vote for bigots like themselves, and with the "redistricting" and with the gerrymandering of voting boundaries, suppression of black voters at the polls, tens of millions in deceptive propaganda ads financed by Corporation money, Koch bros, master manipulators Karl Rove, they have been able to steal the elections like Bush 2000 vs Gore.

3:41PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

Can somebody assassinate this robot and put him out of his misery?

1:17PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

The 1% needs to see what it's like when the 99% are marching through their neighborhoods...with torches, pitchforks, and ropes. They will probably get much more flexible in dealing with economic injustice than they have been up to now.

12:59PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

The millionaires should be paying the biggest proportion of taxes WITHOUT all the shelters and loopholes that end up with US paying their fair share for them! That's the bottom line.
It isn't an equitable system...thanks to the greedy conservative leaders.
Pathetic! I can hardly believe they have no shame...or conscience.

12:58PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

The millionaires should be paying the biggest proportion of taxes WITHOUT all the shelters and loopholes that end up with US paying their fair share for them! That's the bottom line.
It isn't an equitable system...thanks to the greedy conservative leaders.
Pathetic! I can hardly believe they have no shame...or conscience.

12:27PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

I heard about a study that said 48% of Americans are in poverty. Can we now say, after what, six years or so, The Bush Tax cuts do not work. Whatever they were supposed to acomplish, almost 1 in 2 Americans in poverty is not acceptable. Repeal the tax cuts for the rich and give tax breaks to the working man. That is the only way to stimulate the economy.

Then we can get a jobs program going and pull this country out of this mess.

12:27PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

Boehner and his evil minions have accomplished what they set out to do, grind America to a complete halt until the next election so they can blame Obama for all the worlds ills when it is THEY who are the ones who need to go.

11:57AM PST on Dec 16, 2011

Obama needs to stand up and say no more! I know that if he gives in I will still vote for him because I just can not vote for the GOP to what they have done to women's rights, unions etc... But I still have to ask when will this stop? NO pipeline etc... no matter what they do. They all need to be replaced now!!

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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