WORKING CLASS WOES ? PART 3….Tax cut legislation is important. But only if it benefits the rich so blatantly that it doesn’t get any support from Democrats:
The White House helped to block a Republican-brokered deal on Wednesday to extend several middle-class tax cuts, fearful of a bill that could draw Democratic votes and dilute a Republican campaign theme, Republican negotiators said.
….Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, had already said he would retain most of Mr. Bush’s middle-class tax cuts, and many Democratic lawmakers said they would vote for a modest extension of the tax cuts even if the extension was not paid for.
“If the Democrats had been on the same side, it would have taken a lot of arrows out of the quiver,” said one Republican staff member.
It’s good to see that tax cutting is a principled position for the Republican party, not merely a cynical wedge issue designed to enrich likely contributors and make production of anti-Democrat campaign ads easier.
Don’t worry, though, the session isn’t a total loss:
Perhaps in a bid to reduce tensions with Republican lawmakers, the White House offered a concession in another battle with Congress over a major highway spending bill. The administration had been threatening to veto any bill costing more than $256 billion, over six years, while the Senate had passed a bill that would spend $318 billion. On Wednesday, the White House said it would accept a bill that cost as much as $284 billion.
Though the impasse remained unresolved, the concession raised the possibility that lawmakers would be able to go back to their districts at the end of this week with a bill that includes scores of pet projects in almost every state.
Willingness to compromise over tax cuts that would help middle-class workers: none. Willingness to compromise over higher spending on pork projects: boundless.
Your Republican White House at work.