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With the cave of House Republicans on the payroll tax, Dems should see that standing up to Repubs is a policy and politics win. That White House countdown clock was beautiful. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi need to get out ahead of the year extension negotiations. This one can and should be fought in the media in an election year.
First, call their bluff and demand, publicly, a clean extension for a year. Repubs will demand this be offset somehow.
That's when Dems everywhere say fine, we repeal the Bush cuts on the top 1-5%. Repubs will balk, and that is when Dems leave the table, go to the bully pulpit and every show that will have them and say they have made their offer. Repubs can take or leave it, but the choice for America is lose the tax cut for the 99% or lose the tax cut for the 1%. It isn't about raising taxes, it is about choosing which of two cuts we pay for. Repubs can either not pay for both, side with the middle class, or side withh the uber rich.
If they choose the payroll tax, we boost revenue and maintain consumer demand, a win. If they balk, we put that countdown clock back up and hang a middle class tax hike around their neck in an election year, win.