By David Cay Johnston

The opinions expressed are his own.


Slyly encouraged by President Barack Obama, Republicans have painted themselves into a tax corner.

Who would have imagined a year ago, when Republicans rode the Tea Party’s anti-tax wave and retook the House of Representatives, that a year later Republicans would be forced to swallow a huge tax cut sponsored by Obama?

The irony is that Obama’s payroll tax cut could have been taken over by the Republicans as their issue, but they flubbed it.

The payroll tax cut, which bestows the most savings on highly-paid workers, resulted from the refusal by Republicans, after they won control of the House in 2010, to extend the Making Work Pay tax credit.

The Making Work Pay tax credit’s benefits went heavily to the working poor, the disabled, and retirees while in effect in 2009 and 2010.