One of the top items on President Barack Obama's to do list - a 10 percent tax break for small businesses that make new hires - got tangled in an election-year tax debate as Republicans lead a filibuster to block the measure.The Republicans killed a tax cut that would have benefited small businesses and created jobs. Something they claim to want to support.
The legislation would have provided the tax credit to companies that hire new employees or otherwise expand their payrolls this year, a typically popular approach among the GOP. Republicans in the Senate did not necessarily object to the measure, but they protested Thursday after Democrats refused to allow votes on other amendments.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, sought votes on other tax proposals, specifically one that would extend for another year the tax breaks from the George W. Bush administration that expire in December.President Obama wants to extend those tax cuts on everyone making less than $250,000 a year. The point of contention is on tax cuts for the very wealthy. The Republicans therefore killed a jobs-creating tax cut for small businesses because they couldn't also get a tax cut extension for the very wealthy. That tells you how much they care about small businesses and the unemployed. But the politics is even more revealing.
Remember Thomas Friedman and the rest of the Third Way critics of partisanship? Here we had a small business tax cut that would have created jobs, and that both parties supposedly supported. But rather than work together on this supposed common ground with Democrats, thus helping the economy and the American people, the Republicans instead decided once again to hold necessary legislation hostage in an attempt to get more of their own petty partisan agenda. And you can be sure that Friedman and his ilk will be up in arms about this, right?