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Jeb Hensarling
  • House Blocks Payroll Tax Cut Extension Because Merry Christmas, Suckers

    Atheists and pagans are a combative bunch, always opening up new fronts in the War on Christmas with their demands to keep Saturn in Saturnalia, their obstinate insistence on upholding the separation of church and state and their desire to commemorate the Christmas season by cancelling unemployment benefits for 3 millions jobless Americans and raising payroll taxes on 160 million workers.

    And for that last one, by "atheists," I mean House Republicans…

    The House is gone, mostly. The Senate vows not to return. And President Obama is home in Washington while his family vacations in Hawaii, hoping for some kind of agreement between the two that he can sign. That was the uneasy state of play Tuesday after a year of acrimony and stalemate came to a head on Capitol Hill, leaving millions of American workers facing a tax increase in two weeks.

    The House voted on Tuesday to reject a Senate compromise that would have extended a federal payroll tax holiday for two months, continued unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and averted a cut in the reimbursement rate for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

    The gridlock is easy to explain as long as you take the time to append "because SUCK ON IT" to any account of this issue.

    For example, the reason why a 2-month extension of the payroll tax cut passed by the Senate is unacceptable to the House, even though 56 House Republicans co-sponsored a 2-month payroll tax cut in January 2009, is suck on it. Republicans are deeply committed to supporting any and all tax cuts, except those supported by the Obama administration, because suck on it. The Bush-era income tax cuts did require not any offsets because "tax cuts pay for themselves" while Obama-era payroll tax cuts require con-commitment spending cuts because suck on it.

    And the reason a compromise Senate proposal must be still be sent to a joint House-Senate conference committee is Schoolhouse Rock said so

    "Since the dawn of the republic, these are how differences are settled between the House and Senate," Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said on the House floor. "If you don't remember your civics 101, maybe if you have small children like I do, you can go back and watch the 'Schoolhouse Rock' video. It's very clear."

    Except in the Schoolhouse Rock video, the bill moves directly from one chamber to the next, without a conference committee. Should have just stuck to the Law of Suck On It.

    Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: House of Representatives, Jeb Hensarling, Money, Senate, Taxes
  • Republicans Miraculously Find Tax Increase They Can Get Behind

    It's a four-months-before-Christmas miracle! Ring the bells and cue the orchestra! Republican lawmakers have finally found a way to raise taxes that does not offend their delicate anti-revenue sensibilities

    "It's always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R-Texas], "but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again."…

    All tax relief isn't equal? No, I guess it's not. Since tax relief is for people, and all people aren't equal. Like, for example, poor people are definitely definitely less equal…

    The tax break extension they oppose is sought by President Barack Obama. Unlike proposed changes in the income tax, this policy helps the 46 percent of all Americans who owe no federal income taxes but who pay a "payroll tax" on practically every dime they earn

    Social Security payroll taxes apply only to the first $106,800 of a worker's wages. Therefore, $2,136 is the biggest benefit anyone can gain from the one-year reduction. The great majority of Americans make less than $106,800 a year. Millions of workers pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes.

    People who make less than $106,800 a year? Do we even consider those people real citizens anyway? When's the last time you saw some street pauper in tattered rags and sole-worn shoes using his paltry $106,799 annual income to contribute to the economy is any meaningful way? I'm sorry, but I don't count buying a bottle of cheap fortified wine as a "contribution."

    The 12-month tax reduction will cost the government about $120 billion this year, and a similar amount next year if it's renewed.

    That worries Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, and a member of the House-Senate supercommittee tasked with finding new deficit cuts. Tax reductions, "no matter how well-intended," will push the deficit higher, making the panel's task that much harder, Camp's office said.

    Hey, look. It's a tough decision. But sometimes you've got to make tough decisions. Sometimes people just have to make sacrifices for the greater good.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, House of Representatives, Jeb Hensarling, Michigan, Republicans, Taxes, Texas
  • Republicans Fighting to Repeal Not-Yet-Passed Legislation

    Six GOP congresspeople are vowing to repeal some not quite yet new legislation once it is passed into law and thus becomes eligible for repeal.

    It's just like the old saying goes: Obstruct early and often…

    "We know it’s not enough just to fight ObamaCare — it could still pass," the Club for Growth's "Repeal It!" Web site says. "So our pledge is to Repeal It!"

    The first two lawmakers to sign on were Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. — both conservative heroes for their dedication to hacking away at government. Within an hour of the pledge going live, a handful of others had joined them — Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Kansas Reps. Jerry Moran and Lynn Jenkins.

    This is a nice effort on their part, but it doesn't really go far enough in my opinion.

    These guys should be on the front line of conservative activism, fighting to have marriage equality instituted federally so that they can get that repealed, working tirelessly to criminalize Christianity so that they can they fight back against the persecution of the church, and cooperating with scientists to create blasphemous human/donkey hybrids that they can have rounded up and executed.

    I mean, why not go all the way? Am I right?

    Tags: David Vitter, Health Care, House of Representatives, Jason Chaffetz, Jeb Hensarling, Jim DeMint, Lynn Jenkins, Senate