Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows -- at least on the Republican side of the aisle. They get a big wrapped gift for their donors, and we get what? Certainly nothing for the 99ers, who seem to have simply fallen off the White House radar. At least the Republican lords of the manor are giving us permission to extend benefits for some unemployed Americans:
WASHINGTON — Top lawmakers predicted Sunday that a deal would be reached soon to renew the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels and to extend unemployment benefits. "I'm optimistic we'll be able to come together,'' Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told NBC's "Meet the Press."
Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, one of his party's negotiators with the White House, said he was open to discussing making jobless aid, a Democratic priority, part of a bipartisan compromise that would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for all Americans for some period of time, a GOP goal.
"I think that most folks believe that the recipe would include at least an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed and an extension of all of the tax rates for all Americans for some period of time,'' Kyl said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
One day after Republicans blocked a Democratic effort in the Senate to extend the tax cuts for the middle class but not the very wealthy, it looked like a deal could be in the offing before the end of the week. The tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts.
"I think it's pretty clear now taxes are not going up on anybody in the middle of this recession,'' McConnell said.
"We're moving in that direction,'' Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, who appeared with Kyl on "Face the Nation," said. But in a reference to extension of the tax rates for all income levels, he added, "We're only moving there against my judgment."
But in this morning's Times, the Republicans are only saying they'll "probably" allow us to continue unemployment benefits. Aren't they just swell? As for the Democrats:
In meetings with administration officials after the Senate votes, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and many other House and Senate Democrats voiced deep unhappiness at the prospect of extending all the tax cuts and also expressed their belief that the White House did not appear to be getting enough for such a big concession, officials said.
You'd think at some point the cognitive dissonance thing would make their heads explode. Here, the Democrats have been turning backflips to show they're "just as concerned" about the deficits as the Republicans, and now the Republicans are pulling a major budgetbuster - at gunpoint. At some point, they might just figure out it's easier to think for yourselves.