What happened to the excitement of Election Day 2010 when conservatives in the Republican Party won a net gain of 63 seats in the House of Representatives to take over Congress? It was a short-lived victory. Just six weeks later, as if nothing happened, Congress passed a back-room deal, put together by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and President Obama, a so-called “tax compromise” that will increase deficit spending by nearly $900 Billion! I thought this past election was all about “fiscal responsibility”! So why would Congress pass such a bad bill?
The GOP Members of Congress were oh so willing to compromise with President Obama in order to keep the “Bush-era tax cuts” for upper income earners. As one in that tax bracket, I appreciate their interest in protecting my income. But what did Congress give up to keep that tax rate? Well $900 Billion in deficit spending for one thing. And Congress increased the “death tax” from the current zero percent to thirty-five percent! And unemployment benefits were extended for another 99 weeks which, I believe, makes unemployment benefits available for a total of two and one-half years! Seriously? Can anyone seriously look for a job for two and one-half years? Or are we just creating a huge new permanent welfare class?
I realize that we are in the Christmas season and no one wants to deny benefits to the unemployed at Christmas. How “Scrooge-like” would that be? But still, two and one-half years of unemployment benefits seems ludicrous, especially to a nation that is sinking in debt! The Obama Administration has failed miserably to pull us out of recession. While some spending and growth numbers have gone up, unemployment remains stubbornly high. How about if Congress and the President focused upon job creation instead of paying unemployment benefits for two and one-half years.
This willingness to spend money we do not have is a repudiation of the recent election results and a return to business-as-usual in Washington. Hopefully the new Congress will grow a spine and be willing to undo some of the damage that has been done by this horrible deal.