With final vote of 277-148, the so called tax compromise passed the House with almost an equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans supporting the bill.
The administration is calling this a big win, with President Obama scheduled to sign the bill into law late Friday afternoon.
Critics of the compromise are suggesting this is a big blow to fiscal responsibility in Washington.
As noted by Paul Ryan on Fox News Sunday..
$544 billion of that package you’re talking about are simply keeping taxes where they are. The other $313 billion of this package is some of the spending stuff that you’re talking about. link
Of the $544 billion, only $60 billion was in dispute. This is the estimated amount of revenue that would be gained if taxes were increased on those making 250k per year. So in essence, the GOP traded a $60 billion dollar tax break for the wealthy, for another $313 billion in stimulus. Does this make sense? Where is the fiscal sanity in that?
Charles Krauthammer summed things up nicely in today’s editorial.
Republicans could have gotten everything they wanted on the Bush tax cuts retroactively in January without fear of an Obama veto.
Included is a $6 billion subsidy for ethanol. Why, just a few weeks ago Al Gore, the Earth King, finally confessed that ethanol subsidies were a mistake. There is not a single economic or environmental rationale left for this boondoggle that has induced American farmers to dedicate an amazing 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop – for burning! And the Republicans have just revived it. link
Clearly, there was no need for this compromise, which added an extra $313 billion in spending, including an additional $58 billion to pay people not to work. When the government subsidizes something, you get more of it. Subsidizing unemployment, will result in more unemployment.
The GOP should have held out until January and simply voted to keep the tax rates the same. Instead they look more like progressive democrats by supporting a massive new stimulus with no provisions for cutting anything. It’s a sad and pathetic commentary on a congress who is deaf to the voices of the American people who spoke loud and clear in November.
It’s time to stop spending and start cutting but it’s doubtful the current class of political elites will ever actually shrink government and cut spending. Hopefully, the American citizens will be able to “vote the bums out” before the entire system collapses.