The media's coverage of Congress's bickering over President Obama's payroll tax extension is getting out of hand. At what point can we tell the members of the media that they are no longer qualified to be called journalists?
The latest case of media malfeasance comes to us in the form of the debate over the payroll tax cut extension. President Obama proposed the payroll tax cut last year, presumably to boost his approval rating...at least, I can't think of any other reason why a liberal president who up till then had been opposed to all tax cuts would suddenly be preaching about why tax cuts are needed.
But as Democrats are wont to do, the payroll tax cut was temporary. This is how Democrats operate: permanent tax hikes, temporary tax cuts. They are using the payroll tax cut deadline to smear Republicans, trying to accuse them of raising taxes. First the did it by tying in a tax hike on high income earners to the payroll tax cuts: that way, Republicans were damned if the did, damned if they didn't. Now, instead of passing a year-long extension on the tax cuts, the Senate (with bipartisan support) has passed a two-month extension. That extension has been rejected by the GOP-controlled House - and it is still inexplicable why Senate Republicans voted for the bill.
There are so many reasons why a two-month extension is a bad idea. First off, businesses need to have more certainty than two months in the future. The whole point of the payroll tax cut was to save workers money and spur hiring. Businesses can't plan hiring in two month increments, and it's idiotic for the Senate to think they can. There is already too much uncertainty in our economy; we don't need Congress compounding the problem. A two month extension will also cause major problems for payroll companies, as they try to plan for the coming year, and may end up having to tweak their payroll tax calculations back and forth as Congress continues to bicker over the extension.
The House Republicans' position makes the most sense: a two month extension is a bad idea, and there is no good reason for it. The GOP's (and President Obama's) proposal of a year-long extension makes much more sense, but Harry Reid has rejected it out of hand - and now, even President Obama
is calling for House Republicans to get on board with the Senate's two month extension.
But the headlines are fairly consistent: "House GOP rejects two-month payroll tax cut."
That headline could just as easily be "Democrats reject year-long payroll tax cut," but that would make the Dems look bad, and let's face it: this is an election year.
Reid (who was raised agnostic) and his wife (who was born to Jewish immigrant parents and grew up in Henderson), converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed the Mormon or LDS Church) while he was a college student. | Photo: Archives |
And when it gets right down to it, the election is the only context where the two month extension makes sense. If they extend payroll taxes for the full year, then the issue is off the table until after the November elections. If they extend it by two months, then in February, the Democrats can introduce another short-term extension, this one with some other rider that they know Republicans will never vote for, and we'll go through the same thing all over again, with Democrats accusing Republicans of wanting to raise taxes on the middle class. Then we'll likely get another two month extension, so we can replay the debate over and over again all the way up to election day.
But looking deeper into this payroll tax cut, instead of bickering over how long the extension will be, our governmental leaders should be asking, "why are we cutting payroll taxes?" This will never happen, especially not in an election year, but it is a valid question. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out on his show, these are the very payroll taxes that are used to fund Social Security.
If a Republican president were proposing these very same tax cuts, he would likely be eviscerated by Democrat leaders and the media for trying to cut Social Security, a program that is already on the brink of insolvency. Of course, those attacks would take some other form - like a Republican pushing an elderly person off of a cliff...
As a worker, a homeowner, a husband, a father, and a taxpayer, I like any and all tax cuts that apply to me...but not if those tax cuts are just going to screw us even more in the long run. Our politicians have been playing their games of political expediency for far too long, and our nation is paying the price. It is extremely unfortunate that it takes so much work to see past the hype and the lies that the media throws at us every day and see the real truth behind the headlines.
We have enough problems with liberals rewriting our nation's history; we don't need them to rewrite our present.