There has been a lot of posturing on the Democratic side of Congress over whether or not they will substantially raise taxes on everyone on January 1. Harry Reid might well play “hardball” with Republicans but his comrades in the Senate are nowhere close to unanimity on the matter. Things are not much better in the House.
Don’t be fooled, though. The delay is a sham. Democrats can do whatever they like between now and January and there isn’t a darned thing the Republicans can do to stop them. If they want to dial our taxes to eleven again, or simply tax the bejeezus out of the people they don’t like, they have only to use the power of their majorities and it will happen. Moe Lane gives us the lay of the legislative land, along with the real reason the Democrats are acting like an infant with a Chinese finger trap.
The current ratio is 255/180 Democrat/Republican in the House; 58/41 (Kirk needs to be seated, still) in the Senate. The Democrats can easily pass a bill that will ensure that people’s taxes will not automatically rise in January; and they can pass it whenever they like.
And, really, the Democrats know this. They’re just being petulant about the fact that the Republican party is disinterested in indulging the Democrats’ desire to not face the consequences of their party’s actions earlier in the decade. Because this is what happens when you adopt a strategy of ‘kick the can down the road:’ eventually, you meet up with the can again.
And sometimes people won’t let you have another kick.
The Democrats are again caught between their virulent base and the overwhelming desire of the electorate and they have no idea at all how to navigate between the two without disaster. They could do the right thing for the country and our still-struggling economy, but they probably won’t. No matter what they do, they’re going to pay hard for it.
That’s a shame. It’s almost like I’m crying real tears for them.