Saturday, December 17, 2011

Senate passes payroll tax break extension

The Senate voted overwhelmingly today--eighty-nine to ten--to extend the payroll tax holiday for two months. But the bill included a bit that would require the President to grant a permit for the Keystone pipeline, though it also left him with an out in this regard.

As I've noted previously, the entire "payroll tax holiday" is a stupid idea. Extending it merely means growing the debt for no real reason, given that net income could simply be increased via a cut in income tax rates. Nonetheless, the vote will surely be spun as some sort of "victory" for the middle class and the President's economic agenda. At the same time, the inclusion of the Keystone requirement will be spun as a Republican "victory." And in a way, maybe it is, depending on whether or not the bill is ultimately signed into law.

But it's the height of stupidity that construction of the Keystone Pipeline--which I have also addressed previously--should be linked to a bill dealing with payroll taxes. One has nothing to do with the other. Of course, it's equally ridiculous for Obama to block the construction of a fully vetted project that would actually create jobs and boost a sluggish economy.

Almost makes one lose faith in the government...

Cheers, all.


  1. If I could change only one thing about our government it would be this - disallowing unrelated nonsense tacked on to the nonsense at hand.

    It renders a politician's voting history completely unreliable as any sort of gauge on what he or she might be dedicated to achieving, or to whom or what the politician feels obligated to. Useless.

    It's infuriating.

  2. Tangent: this is exactly why it is so hard for a Senator to win the office of President, when the opponent is a non-Senator (Obama was lucky that he ran against a Senator and that his own Senate career was short). As a Senator, they have a record of votes that reflects these sorts of compromises, thus cannot claim to really stand on principle.