The six Republicans from the failed super-committee, in an op-ed today:
The 2001 and 2003 changes to the tax code reduced marginal rates for all taxpayers as well as the rates for capital gains, dividends and the death tax. For technical reasons, all of these provisions expire at the end of next year — meaning that if Congress does not act, Americans will face the largest tax increase in our history. This prospect has put a wet blanket over job creation and economic recovery.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), three weeks ago:
“I think the budget deficit and our debt serves as a wet blanket over our economy.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), in late September:
“Business owners are reluctant to create jobs today when they’re going to need to pay more tomorrow to comply with onerous new regulations. That’s what employers mean when they say that uncertainty generated by Washington is a big wet blanket on our economy.”
Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), seeking a comeback, in mid September:
” [T]ax hikes that President Obama has been pushing since he was elected and they will put a heavy, wet blanket on an economy.”
So, to review, Republicans believe the possibility of potential tax increases, regulations, the debt, the deficit, and uncertainty are all a “wet blanket.” I can only assume some focus group somewhere told pollsters they like this metaphor, which is why it’s being used so incessantly.
Let’s make this plain, shall we? The laws of supply and demand are not subject to a Republican filibuster. The economy is struggling because businesses don’t have enough customers. We have high unemployment and depressed wages, which lead to less demand, slower growth, and fewer new jobs. It’s really not that complicated.
Republicans, who should be able to understand these basics, are eager to make matters worse, undermining demand when we should be doing the opposite. And that’s the real wet blanket we should be talking about.