Forget That GOP Concern For Fiscal Responsibility
Despite the public’s concerns over deficits, and the recent comments by Alan Greenspan about his way-too-late concerns over the deficit, House Republicans went ahead and passed extensions of the Bush tax cuts today, in a largely party-line vote. And remember just a couple of months ago when a group of House GOP conservatives made a big deal about the deficits and the need to cut domestic spending?
Voting 234 to 197, almost purely along party lines, the House approved $56 billion in tax cuts over five years, just one day after it passed other tax cuts totaling $39 billion over five years. The biggest provision would extend President Bush's 2001 tax cut for stock dividends and capital gains for two years at a cost of $20 billion. All of the House's maverick Republican conservatives, who had criticized their party leaders two months ago for being too soft about spending cuts, voted enthusiastically for the tax cuts, which add up to nearly twice as much as the spending cuts passed last month.
So much for any future GOP credibility on the issue of deficits and taxes. They don’t care about deficits and only want to shovel money to the rich. End of story.
But as Robert Reich notes today in Tapped Online, the net result of this vote, given that the GOP Senate pushed through its own version that focused on the AMT relief for the upper middle class weeks ago, is that both of these bills will be merged and both the wealthy and the upper middle class will get something. And who will pay? The middle class and the poor, who will see domestic spending cut to pay for the combined package.