Opinion

David Cay Johnston

Republicans paint themselves into a tax-cut corner

David Cay Johnston
Dec 6, 2011 15:32 UTC

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.

Fact-free fiscal farce

David Cay Johnston
Aug 2, 2011 14:02 UTC

By David Cay Johnston

The author is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Washington debate over whether to voluntarily default on the U.S. government’s obligations revealed a serious political ailment in Congress: mass economic amnesia.

Just 11 years ago, Republicans insisted budget surpluses were bad for the economy, while Democrats told us surpluses would make the economy flourish. Al Gore said pay off the federal debt; George W. Bush said cut taxes so people would have more money.

During the Bush years Democrats decried the red-ink budgets, while Republicans assured us that no real harm would come from a $5 trillion borrow-and-spend spree.

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