So I took a little pause from the Week's Worst series last week in honour of the Thanksgiving spirit. But this week we're back looking at Terrible Things Republicans Do That Hurt the Country(TM) with a doozy of an example. This week, after the House passed a bill that would keep in place the Bush era tax cuts for every American, but would restore tax on incomes over $250,000 to the level they were under the Clinton Administration, Republicans in the Senate successfully "defeated" the Senate's attempt to do the same. That is, it was defeated with 53 people voting for it and 4X voting against. In other words, most Senators agreed that the this is the approach we should take, but by taking advantage of the filibuster, Republicans were once again able to ensure that they look out for the interests of the richest at the expense of... well, everyone else.
What fascinates me is that this is a wildly unpopular position Republicans have taken. 67% of Americans polled agree that it is time for these tax handouts for the wealthiest to end. Even 52% of REPUBLICANS agree that tax cuts on income over $250,000 should expire. It's just what makes sense - the wealthy have been the group of people least affected by the economic crisis, their incomes have been rising while everyone elses's has been stagnating, they certainly don't suffer from high unemployment, and they won't be deeply harmed by restoring them to Clinton-era tax rates under which, if you recall, they also did pretty darn well.
Billionaire Warren Buffet agrees, pointing out that,
"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on,"Indeed.
So why are Republicans so determined to offer this hand out to the people who need it most, at the same time they are trying to deny unemployment insurance to the people who need it a lot?
Well 2 reasons, I guess. 1) They really, really love millionaires. I mean, a lot. Way more than they like the rest of us. They just love them. That's why they're Republicans after all. Duh. But also 2) they calculate that any political failure for the Democrats and the President is good for them. And they may be right.
But I'm really hoping that the American people will see that a bunch of people who would fight tooth and nail to help the few who are least in need and will fight equally hard to avoid helping the many who are in need is not a party that's got the interests of the country at heart.