Here's the AP headline:
GOP may OK tax increase that Obama hopes to block
Have the GOP finally come to their senses? Or maybe they've finally embraced the "tax and spend" charge they lob at Democrats on a daily basis?
Of course not.
So what are they after?
According to the article, they want to end the "temporary tax cut" that was introduced last year when employee payroll taxes were reduced.
And while, frankly, in a way, I do wish that tax cut would go away, the GOP "logic" here is, of course, perverse.
First off, though, kudos to the AP writer who noted a simple economic truth:
The tax break extension they oppose is sought by President Barack Obama. Unlike proposed changes in the income tax, this policy helps the 46 percent of all Americans who owe no federal income taxes but who pay a "payroll tax" on practically every dime they earn.
See? Everyone pays taxes. (Well, OK, not the really rich and the corporations.)
Is that really too hard for most people to understand? (Well, OK, not the Tea Party folks.)
So why do they want to do this?
"It's always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, "but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again."
Of course. Putting extra money in the pockets of people who would actually have a big incentive to go out and spend it, thus having it circulate in the economy? That won't help the economy grow.
Putting that extra money in the pockets of people who don't need the money, and won't spend it? Now THAT will boost the economy!
And even better, here's some more tasty logic for you, on why the Bush tax cuts are a good thing, but the payroll tax cut isn't:
Republicans cite key differences between the two "temporary" taxes, starting with the fact that the Bush measure had a 10-year life from the start.
Huh? How is that an argument against extending what was supposed to be a one-year tax cut?
Talk about "pretzel" logic. . . .
Edited to add: It'd be one thing if the Republicans were actually taking a principled stand to the effect of "We can't afford this tax cut, we need to raise the payroll taxes again along with raising other taxes."
The problem is, that's not what the Republicans are doing. They're arguing we can't afford this tax cut, because we need to cut other taxes (namely, those on the rich). It's the same s— that Rick Snyder spewed on the people of Michigan this year, raising taxes on lower-income people to give tax cuts to businesses.