by Max Brantley
Missing in reports this morning on the strong opposition among House Republicans to continuation of a payroll tax deduction for working Americans are statements from the Republican congressional delegation (including one DINO) from Arkansas.
Simple proposition Messrs. Griffin, Crawford and Womack (and Ross): Yes or no on a payroll tax extension paid in full by a millionaire surtax, the Senate plan? Yes or no on paying for it with some spending cuts and sale of broadcast licenses, the House Democrats' idea? (The answer has been no to date, but I'd like to see it in a roll call.)
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, for one, would prefer to privatize Medicare, cut federal jobs, end government pensions and transition out of Social Security as we know it for all Americans and give more tax cuts to millionaires. Now there's a stimulus plan. If by stimulus you mean stimulating the low-tax-rate dividends and capital gains of the ultrawealthy.
UPDATE: President Obama goes to Kansas next week to try to sell a fair-chance-square-deal message. He could use some sharper messaging. I presume the Westboro guys and gals will be on hand somewhere nearby.
On Tuesday, December 6, President Obama will travel to Osawatomie, Kansas where he will deliver remarks on the economy. The President will talk about how he sees this as a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those working to join it. He’ll lay out the choice we face between a country in which too few do well while too many struggle to get by, and one where we’re all in it together — where everyone engages in fair play, everyone does their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot.
Just over one hundred years ago, President Teddy Roosevelt came to Osawatomie, Kansas and called for a New Nationalism, where everyone gets a fair chance, a square deal, and an equal opportunity to succeed.