Obama: Why do these darned Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class?

posted at 5:05 pm on December 5, 2011 by Allahpundit

Cynical perfection from The One, who’s been waiting for weeks to deliver this Orwellian bit of election messaging. His topic is the standoff in Congress over last year’s payroll tax cut; the GOP wants to extend the cut and offset it with new spending cuts, Democrats want to actually increase the cut (there’s an election coming up, y’know) and offset it with — ta da — a new surtax on millionaires. Obama and Reid know Republicans won’t accept that, which they want you to believe means the GOP prefers to see the payroll tax revert to its previous higher rate, which in turn means Republicans hate middle-class families just like Paul Ryan hates your grandma and wants her to die. Here’s O’s presser today making sure the media understands the basics of the narrative.

So transparent is the Democratic strategy of setting Obama up with yet another “do-nothing Republicans/party of the rich” campaign talking point, in fact, that Reid didn’t even bother to round out his newest proposal with provisions on unemployment benefits and “doctor fix,” both of which are expected to be part of any final compromise package. They know the millionaire surtax is a likely nonstarter and that Republicans will block this newest offer too; forcing them to block it is the whole point, in hopes of impressing upon white working-class voters who increasingly are voting GOP to take a second look at Dems as the blue-collar party. All of which would be fine as a simple matter of political hardball if not for the surreal hypocrisy of O lecturing the right on taxes when in fact Obamanomics makes middle-class tax hikes a fait accompli sooner or later — although certainly no sooner than election day, natch. His party opposes spending cuts of every sort except, of course, to defense, and gutting the Pentagon won’t get us remotely close to even budget-wise. Neither will new taxes on the rich, even at dramatically higher rates. If you want a robust entitlement state, you’ve got two choices: Squeeze the middle class or keep borrowing and wait for the Greece scenario to unfold. Or you could, I guess, do both. It’ll be much easier to sell those middle-class taxes in the midst of a fiscal meltdown.

One interesting wrinkle to last week’s payroll-tax wrangling was Susan Collins agreeing to the new millionaire surtax provided that there’s an exemption included for small businesses. She wants to tax the idle rich, in other words, but not the job-creating rich. The same day she was talking about that, Mike Johanns suggested a “change of mood” inside the GOP caucus about tax increase on millionaires. Were they both just blowing smoke, knowing that tax hikes on the rich poll reliably well and might be an effective issue for Democrats next year, or is there in fact some nucleus of Republicans willing to deal with Obama on this? I guess we’ll never know because he’s apparently decided he doesn’t want to talk to anyone anymore. Maybe he just gave up, or maybe that “do-nothing Republicans” talking point is a little too sweet for him to risk.

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What’s to stop the House GOP from simply extending the current payroll tax cut and forcing the Senate Dems to call their bluff?

Doughboy on December 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM

And so begins yet another 17 day vacay….

44Magnum on December 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM

C’mon GOP leadership. Get out in front of something once in a while. Ugh! Gross!

Fallon on December 5, 2011 at 5:14 PM

or maybe that “do-nothing Republicans” talking point is a little too sweet for him to risk.

Can you imagine how low this clown’s approval rating would be if we had an electorate willing to inform themselves?

Kataklysmic on December 5, 2011 at 5:15 PM

It’ll be much easier to sell those middle-class taxes in the midst of a fiscal meltdown.

Cloward-Piven for tax policy: push non-reforming “reforms” that actually cause more problems, until a crisis erupts and the people feel they have no choice but to accept Socialist solutions.

irishspy on December 5, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Pass this bill!

El_Terrible on December 5, 2011 at 5:19 PM

What ever happened to the Democratic mantra of ‘pay-go’? Remember?

GarandFan on December 5, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Allah…

… If you can articulate this, any ideas why the current Speaker of the House isn’t?

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM

The GOP should just keep writing legislation, debating it, passing it, and sending it up to the Senate. Then every time Obama says ‘Do nothing Republicans’ or ‘Do nothing Congress’ the response from the GOP should be loud and unanimous “Mr. President, tell that to the Senate Democrats.”

Skandia Recluse on December 5, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Allah…

… If you can articulate this, any ideas why the current Speaker of the House isn’t?

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Not-Allah here. I’ll give it a go.

He’s one of them. Another thing he won’t articulate clearly or firmly is the difference between deficit reduction and debt reduction. People talk about deficit reduction like they’re doing something wonderful, all the while, the debt grows uncontrollably. He shuffles his feet and tells us it’s the best he could get. He isn’t on our side.

samuelrylander on December 5, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Why does Obama want to destabilize Social Security?

agmartin on December 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM

WHY IS THE GOP SO &#$^@#$ STUPID!?!?!??!?!?!?!?

Sorry…

Fezzik on December 5, 2011 at 5:28 PM

“Obama wooed Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) a lot early in his presidency, first to get her vote on the stimulus package and later seeking her vote for health care reform.

But he doesn’t call anymore, and his team hasn’t reached out much either, she said.”

I sure hope you had to sleep in the wet spot Olympia…

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 5:33 PM

It would probably benefit the Republicans to go along with Obama’s parasitic ploys ( minus the spending increases ) and just admit that we are only going along with it in the meantime to take away the political advantage and admit that we’ll be doing comprehensive tax overhaul once we are in control that will flatten out the tax code.

Buddahpundit on December 5, 2011 at 5:35 PM

The problem is, his supporters believe anything he says. I know one who only gets her news from NPR and PBS. She knows nothing of Solyndra or Fast & Furious or Climategate 2, and yet she can’t stop talking about how enlightened she is and how dreamy he is.

It’s not the economy. It’s the stupidity, stupid.

John the Libertarian on December 5, 2011 at 5:35 PM

It’s not the economy. It’s the stupidity, stupid.

John the Libertarian on December 5, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Lol. You can’t fix stupid.

I’ve run into the same crap. They all think they are so enlightened and they have no idea what is going on around them.

samuelrylander on December 5, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Epiphany!
The reason Owbammy will lose 2012 –

Nature abhors a vacuum. And D’rats claim to be the green party.

Caststeel on December 5, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Saddest thing is all this theater over basically CHUMP CHANGE!

golfmann on December 5, 2011 at 5:39 PM

He isn’t on our side.

samuelrylander on December 5, 2011 at 5:25 PM

I fear not…

… During President Bush’s years, after Nancy became Speaker she lived in front of the cameras.

Boehner is making this too easy for Obowma…

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Teh One is so disgusting I can’t bear to read anything about or from him anymore. Ugh….

chai on December 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM

And so begins yet another 17 day vacay….
44Magnum on December 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Instead of “Hail to the Chief” (gag) when this guy appears , they ought to strike up “Holiday Road” – the ‘Vacation’ movie theme song.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Obama: Why do these darned Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class?

Why do these darned National Democratic Socialists insist on the failed policy of spreading the wealth around?

Chip on December 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

OH NO HE DI-INT!!!

abobo on December 5, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Have a great vacation, NancyBoy. Go swimming in the heavy surf.

Jaibones on December 5, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Have a great vacation, NancyBoy. Go swimming in the heavy surf.

Jaibones on December 5, 2011 at 5:52 PM

swimming on the North Shore is nice this time of year.

samuelrylander on December 5, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Boehner is making this too easy for Obowma…

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Boehner has all the ability in the world to win this fight, even with a media staunchly in the left’s corner. All they have to do is put out bills that work, and let the left keep rejecting them. When the left rejects it, pass it again, and give it back to them. Don’t give them anything they want. Only give them what will actually solve problems.

But, he won’t.

samuelrylander on December 5, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Tweaking the payroll tax … which was supposed to be an individual retirement plan, NOT a “tax” at all. Just a retirement supplement. Tweaking it tiny amounts, when the shortfalls in Social Security will be so vast in comparison. It’s insanity, a little at a time. It will just get crazier until there’s no respect for government, or the law, and lying will be required in most cases, just to get by. The federal government is showing us the way.

Paul-Cincy on December 5, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Not nuance, bald face lie.

If the GOP wants another four of Obama letting him get away with this faux populism is a great way to see what an unrepentant, unbridled, progressive in the Whitehouse will do with the massive power Congress gave the ultra moral Washington.

Speakup on December 5, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Why is everything with this guy a crisis? He can’t get one single thing done without making 3 superfluous speeches trying to make himself look involved. The whole planet knew, months ago, this tax cut was going to expire soon, yet here we are dealing with it now.

If people haven’t figured out this is a strategy yet then they must have just fallen off the turnip truck. What better way to get bills passed, that few really have time to dig into, and avoid talking about the real elephants in the room.

So, just because we have an incompetent in the White House, we have to go to the crisis of the week, rather than having a political party that’s capable of legislating.

I can’t wait for 2012 and watch these Democrats implode.

bflat879 on December 5, 2011 at 6:12 PM

If anyone is stupid enough to still listen to anything this clown says and believes it, they’re probably going to vote Democrat anyway.

NoDonkey on December 5, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Got an email from my congressman today and he said “there are now 25 House-passed jobs bills awaiting the Democrat-run Senate’s approval and the president’s signature.”

Mirimichi on December 5, 2011 at 6:35 PM

May his hypocrisy spontaneously ‘combust’ him, every time he applies it. You’d see ‘lightening’ every day.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2011 at 6:39 PM

No, you have to beat Obama to the punch on these things. When you see the Democrats cutting taxes in a highly popular area, the Republicans should automatically double down on those tax cuts, make them greater and propose even bigger spending cuts to offset, and immediately grandstand before the cameras about the tax cuts.

You know that until the election it’s all politics anyway. Always make the Dems eat the poison pill.

JSchuler on December 5, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Happy Ramadan Your Majesty.

2Tru2Tru on December 5, 2011 at 6:49 PM

that “do-nothing Republicans” talking point is a little too sweet for him to risk.

its all he’s got and the lsm will play it out for him

cmsinaz on December 5, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Why does Obama want to defund Social Security?

CW on December 5, 2011 at 7:17 PM

44Magnum on December 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Instead of “Hail to the Chief” (gag) when this guy appears , they ought to strike up “Holiday Road” – the ‘Vacation’ movie theme song.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

That’ll work! : )

listens2glenn on December 5, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Obama does not want to defund social security at least in this way. THIS suggestion to tax millionaires will in NO WAY aid social security. IF the GOP allows the tax, it will go into the congressional coffers to be spent on their social projects and favored projects like every other dime. Trust me, there would be NOTHING in the bill that actually put the tax on millionaires into the social security fund.

Question for liberals: where in the US Constitution does it grant the US government the power to tax on individual to pay for the social security of other?

katablog.com on December 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

The real cynicism is not in the payroll tax cut itself, but in the bill’s provision to credit the Social Security Trust Fund (and benefit accruals) as though the taxes had been collected.

http://economics21.org/commentary/dont-allow-another-payroll-tax-accounting-gimmick

http://www.economics21.org/commentary/jobs-bill-pretending-fund-social-security

Chuckles3 on December 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

I do want to know how this ‘cut’ affects the soc sec payments of those people in the future. The total amount one pays into the system via payroll taxes is a major factor in the amt of their check when they retire. How are democrats justifying that cut in benefits?

MaggiePoo on December 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Um, I think maybe chuckles answered my question?

MaggiePoo on December 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

If you cut SS taxes you defund SS. Facts is facts.

CW on December 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

No, you have to beat Obama to the punch on these things. When you see the Democrats cutting taxes in a highly popular area, the Republicans should automatically double down on those tax cuts, make them greater and propose even bigger spending cuts to offset, and immediately grandstand before the cameras about the tax cuts

That’s an awsome idea. Either that or start calling the millionaire tax the “Success Tax”. Or maybe “steal from the rich to get votes from the poor tax”.

smrtas1 on December 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

It’s not the economy. It’s the stupidity, stupid.

John the Libertarian on December 5, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Lol. You can’t fix stupid.

I’ve run into the same crap. They all think they are so enlightened and they have no idea what is going on around them.

samuelrylander on December 5, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Morality is all in having the right political opinions. If you doubt it, just remember that Teddy Kennedy, who

– was thrown out of Harvard for cheating
– left a woman to die to protect his political career
– was a notorious lush
– sexually assaulted waitresses by making “waitress sandwiches” with Senator Dodd

wrote a book titled “True Compass” and was lionized — literally — as “the Liberal Lion.”

All because he had the right kind of politics.

It really is enough to make you despair. Maybe that’s why Reagan was so fondly remembered. For once, the “good guy” won.

didymus on December 5, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Good Lord, go play some golf and leave us Americans alone while you vacation in “Asia”.

ChuckTX on December 6, 2011 at 6:51 AM

So we’re going to have an Approved List of Occupations part of the 1040s listing different tax rates for different occupations?

You know, these politicians only represent the American people. It takes a corrupt people to elect a corrupt politician. What does that say about America?

MNHawk on December 6, 2011 at 6:56 AM

Why are you still talking, Turd? Shouldn’t you be swirling in a bowl somewhere?

Extrafishy on December 6, 2011 at 7:26 AM

You just like the media keep failing to mention that the democrats “tax cuts” are to Social Security fund and in reality they are not tax cuts because the government is continuing to run up debt by borrowing this money from the Social Security fund and it still needs to be paid back in the future. They are doing this versus general fund tax cut so they can play the numbers game with this debt.

JeffinSac on December 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM