• Payroll Tax Cut Drowns in Senate Saucer

    If I remember my apocryphal historical similes correctly, George Washington once asked Thomas Jefferson, "why did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer before drinking it?"

    When Jefferson responded, "to cool it," Washington explained that, for the same reason, "we pour our legislation into the Senatorial saucer…" and then we pour the other party's legislation into the saucer…and then we add some ice…and then we just dump the whole thing because who do these people think they are, demanding legislative coffee when Congress could be focused on renaming post offices?

    The Senate late Thursday rejected competing partisan visions for extending a temporary tax break that benefits virtually every American worker, clearing the way for more serious negotiations over how to cover the cost of the tax cut. All but a handful of Democrats voted in favor of their party's proposal, but in a surprising turn, more Republicans voted against the GOP plan than in favor of it.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted this week that a majority of his conference would vote for the party’s plan to extend the payroll tax cut. The vote suggests that rank-and-file Republicans remain divided on the merits of keeping the tax cut, leaving their party vulnerable to criticism from Democrats that they would raise taxes on the middle class as Americans are struggling economically.

    The Democratic version of the payroll tax cut extension, which would have cut the  payroll tax from 6.2% to 3.1% next year, while extending the cut to employers and levying a 3.25% surcharge on income over $1 million, was rejected by a vote of 51 in favor and 49 against.

    Because the Senatorial saucer requires an affirmative vote of 60 baristas before anyone can even debate drinking the brew, and *deep breath* the makeup of the Senate is such that in theory, Senators representing only 12% of the U.S. population could block legislation supported by Senators representing the other 88%, and…okay, let's just accept that the Senate isn't a saucer at all, but more like a spittoon — shiny and historically curious but mostly anachronistic and disgusting.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Mitch McConnell, Money, Senate, Taxes

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