Saturday, September 10, 2011

Obama Puts Republicans In a Corner

You may have caught President Obama's speech on his job bill on Thursday. If you haven't, you can check it out here.

Now, here's a rundown of the list of what he's requesting from Congress:

1. A tax break for small business employers who hire people or give them a raise.

2. A tax break who hire people who have been out of work for 6 months or more.

3. A tax cut to middle class families.

4. Some job program items championed by Republicans in Georgia who offer temporary jobs to the unemployed (so they're not just collecting an unemployment paycheck).

5. Cut tax loopholes for corporations and make changes to Medicare/Medicaid so the entire bill is budget neutral.

If you notice right there, 4.5 of the 5 items are things Republicans say they want. You hear from people like John Boehner all the time about how "taxes are killing the small business" and so on.

OK - so here's an offer for a tax break for them. And a tax break for the middle class. And those changes to benefit systems like Medicare and Medicaid you always say you want - here you go! Fear the budget after you spent 8 years racking it up - well, this is budget neutral.

All you have to do is pass a bill that's full of the things Republicans say they want.

And therein lies the trap. These are things that will help the economy. Probably not as good as a real public works program, where all of the roads would be rebuilt and fixed, bridges repaired, schools completely fixed up the way they should be, perhaps hiring writers to write the next generation textbooks and so on and so forth - but these things are a good foundation for jobs. And they're all things Republicans say they want.

But if they pass it, it will actually help the economy. But if they don't, they'll be proved as people who are putting party before country. So which is it, Republicans - do you only love tax cuts that are budget neutral if they benefit the top 1% of the country, instead of those small jobs and middle class people you claim to represent?

Or do you lust after being the opposition to everything Democrats propose more?

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