Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Political Candy (aka, Payroll Tax Cut)

The political debate over whether or not to extend the payroll tax cut tells us a lot about what candidates think of the American public. This debate tells me that the politicians of all persuasions think of the public as children and the payroll tax cut is political candy. It's only a short-time sugar high, but most people want their political candy! 

First, we see President Obama, feeling the pain of the average person in these tough economic times, saying now is not the time to end this tax cut. When the children are having a bad day, it just isn't nice to take away their candy. 

Then, we see various economists and others who are focused on our deficits saying they know what's best. Just because the children want their candy doesn't mean they should get it. They want to lecture the children about what's good for them and be firm: no candy! 

On the Republican side, the candidates for President are divided. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul like continuing the tax cuts. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry don't like them. Bachmann says they're not working. But taking away their candy is no way to win votes. In a similar manner, Republic Party leaders realize they don't want Republicans to be tagged with taking away a popular tax cut going into a Presidential election year. But the rank-and-file, especially the Tea Party folk, disagree. 

I predict the tax cut will live for one more year. I see the Republican leadership twisting arms with the argument that in a close election, this issue could loose them their chance to capture the White House.

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