After playing games at the end of the year with an extension of the payroll tax cut extension, it now appears that both Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader are in agreement, and something's going to be passed by the end of next month.
CNN's Candy Crowley pushed Mitch McConnell on whether Republicans would be willing to raise taxes in order to pay for it and McConnell wouldn't rule it out, saying he didn't want to negotiate the deal with Crowley on CNN, but given that they're all beholden to St. Grover and his no tax pledge, I'll be very surprised to see them agree to increasing taxes later. I'll also be surprised if they don't demand another pound of flesh from the working class and the poor in order to offset the cost as well since that's been their pattern for the last several years. Can't raise taxes on the wealthy or corporations, but they'll gladly go after the elderly and the most vulnerable in society.
McConnell couldn't manage to make it through the interview without taking a shot at the Solyndra debacle, as though that one small project is the worst example anyone could find of wasteful government spending. And naturally Candy Crowley didn't bother to point out that it was McConnell and his ilk that helped destroy the economy and blow up the deficit in the first place with tax cuts, a prescription drug giveaway to the big pharma companies and two wars that they kept off the books, none of which were paid for and the fact that they didn't have one iota of concern for the size of the deficit until a Democrat got elected to the White House.
She also didn't ask him about the games they were playing late last year when they could have passed an extension of the payroll tax cuts, but decided not to that Ken wrote about here -- John Boehner Kills the Payroll Tax Extension Because It Was Too Popular and Would've Passed.
Another week of meet the Republicans for the Sunday shows and another week where they're allowed to lie and prevaricate at will with no push back from our corporate media.
Transcript below the fold.
CROWLEY: Let's start first with some congressional business. That payroll tax break needs to be extended by the end of February or people will see their payroll taxes come up. What do you think this final package is going to look like? And we should say that the sticking point has always been how you're going to pay for this thing.
MCCONNELL: Well, there's broad agreement on doing the payroll tax holiday through the end of the year. Republicans, Democrats agree on that. As you indicated the problem is the paying for it. The reason we ended up only doing the two-month extension earlier, Candy, was because our good friends on the Democratic side don't want to pay for anything. They'd love to do this...
CROWLEY: Well, they do. They just don't want to pay for it in the same way you do.
MCCONNELL: They don't want to cut spending. They just don't want to cut any spending.
CROWLEY: They would like to raise taxes on the wealthy.
MCCONNELL: That's what made it problematic. And -- but we'll get it done. We'll get it done by the end of February.
CROWLEY: What will it look like?
MCCONNELL: I don't know, it hasn't been negotiated.
CROWLEY: What is unacceptable to you in terms of paying for it?
MCCONNELL: Well, we don't believe that taking somebody's money and spending it on a bank like Solyndra is a good idea. We think the government, the administration wants to take somebody else's money, particularly people who've been successful and squander it on things like Solyndra. And we just don't think the government has this problem because it's taxes too little, we think it has the problem because it's spending way too much.
CROWLEY: Well, tax revenues have been down. A certain argument for a later time.
MCCONNELL: Yeah, but we know the economy...
CROWLEY: Right. So, but the question here is, if there is -- would you pay for it partially with any kind of tax increase? Would you agree to that?
MCCONNELL: We have this problem at the risk of being repetitious, because we spend way too much. We now have a debt the size of our economy. We look a lot like Greece. We're heading toward western Europe. If you want to see what happens, just look across the Atlantic. That's the direction we're headed in.
Under this administration, we've run the national debt up 43 percent in just three years.
CROWLEY: But you're not saying no, which is interesting to me. I mean, usually...
MCCONNELL: Well, I'm not going to...
CROWLEY: ...you all flatly rule out any kind of tax increase and you're not.
MCCONNELL: I'm not going to negotiate this agreement with you this morning. But I want the American people to understand that we now have a debt the size of our economy. And how significant that is.