In our ongoing mission to prove that a nation of 300,000,000+ is actually controlled by a single state of 3,000,000 generally maligned and overlooked people, today offers something of a victory.
President Obama is trying to give working people a tax cut by way of the payroll tax extension. The Republican Party is fighting this, and leading their fight is the Congressional Delegation of the Great State of Kentucky!
First of all, we had Rand Paul opposing lower middle class taxes on the argument that they would drain funds from a federal government program he already wants to dismantle. This makes no sense. A) because it’s not true; B) because were it true, Rand Paul should be in favor of it.
Then, more seriously — because even his own party rarely takes Rand Paul seriously, it seems — you’ve got the latest Republican attempt to block a millionaire tax hike while simultaneously killing a middle class tax cut. This movement is led in the Senate by Mitch McConnell, our senior Senator and the minority leader and it is coupled with Ed Whitfield’s Keystone XL Pipeline project that does little for the state of Kentucky but much for big energy interests.
Whitfield, Kentucky’s 1st District Congressman, is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power and through that position has been fighting for the Keystone XL Pipeline for months. The pipeline threatens great damage (here, here) to the heartland’s water system and offers questionable rewards outside some big profits for some well-off energy barons. The President recently delayed any decision on the pipeline until 2013. Last week, Whitfield in the House and McConnell in the Senate both introduced legislation seeking to force the President’s hand in a give-away to their energy overlords.
On Wednesday of this week, they came up with a better idea. The House payroll tax bill is now leaden with Ed’s XL Pipeline mandate in effort to either derail the tax cut for the middle class or force the pipeline on America.
House Republicans hope they’ve struck gold — black gold — by marrying the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to the president’s payroll tax cut.
….“We’re going to push now. We think it’s important. The president’s being political and we need to create jobs,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican who chairs an Energy and Commerce subcommittee.
Or as our orange neighbor across a decrepit bridge says:
The bill — called the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 —is nearly 370 pages, and includes peripheral issues such as restarting the stalled Keystone XL pipeline project, altering of environmental regulations and the selling of broadband spectrum.
“This package does not include everything Republicans would like, nor does it have all that Democrats have called for,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a Friday statement. “But it is a win for the American people and worthy of the president’s signature.”
A win for the American people would be lower taxes on the middle class, clean water and a reasonable tax on the super-wealthy. Boner is being disingenuous — really, this is a win-win for the GOP… either they raise taxes on the middle class while protecting the rich or they get a big win for big energy.
Or… they find a way to do it all. From the Washington Post:
House Republicans on Friday brought forward legislation that would extend the Social Security payroll tax cut through 2012 and trim extra benefits for the long-term unemployed.
The measure invites a year-end clash with President Barack Obama and Democrats by including language that would pave the way for construction of a controversial oil pipeline.
….The newer measure would be financed by cutting federal workforce salaries, requiring higher earning elderly people to pay more for Medicare and raising some federal fees. But it ignores the higher taxes on the rich that Democrats would use to cover the costs of their proposal.
Ed Whitfield — who was named one of the Top 15 Friends of Polluters in Congress — long ago made it clear where his true intentions are. While Mitch McConnell’s money-quote (“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”) has gotten a lot of play, Ed Whitfield’s similar moment of honesty has gone largely unnoticed:
“We want to keep passing things on the House side that would reverse things EPA is doing simply because we’d like to see those 22 Democratic senators up for re-election next year vote on some of this.”
So again we see that not only is the Republican Party not interested in getting America back to work, not only are they more interested in just making matters worse under the destructive but perhaps accurate belief that that’s the only way they can win an election, but also that it is Kentucky’s Republican delegation leading this ridiculous battle.
While we’re on the subject, it’s also worth pointing out the the GOP’s #1 Jobs Plan passed the House on Wednesday. That bill doesn’t do anything to create jobs but does seek to weaken government health and safety regulations. And that bill is the work of another Kentucky Congressman, Mr. Geofferson Davis.
Kentucky wins again! Suck it, America.