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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Cliff diving

The hangover some Americans are feeling today can't compare the headache foisted on us by Congress.

While millions rang old the old with revelry, your elected officials opted for their favorite game, kick the can. And while we wait with bated breath to see if John Boehner can rein in his lemmings, one thing emerges crystal clearly in the new light of 2013.

Taxes may not be going up on some "job creators" but they sure as heck are rising on those who do the actual work.

For all the pious mewling of Republicans on the damage caused by higher taxes, it appears there will be fewer dollars in the paychecks of those who earn less than $113,700 annually in addition to those pulling down $400,000 annually.

That's because neither the GOP, nor their Democratic colleagues, saw fit to continue the 2 percent Social Security payroll tax cut offered two years ago as an economic stimulus.

There may well be sound reason for collecting upwards of $125 billion annually -- like the solvency of the nation's retirement system.  But the hypocrisy of the tax cut set in remaining mute on a levy assessed on hundreds of millions of Americans while decrying higher taxes on the 1 percent is staggering.

And since the overwhelming majority of Democrats have never signed Grover Norquist's pledge, the opprobrium rests squarely on GOP shoulders.

Obviously there is still a long way to go. There is no guarantee the Boehner Bunch will even go along with this timid stop-gap measure that once again delays final resolution of the nation's budgetary problems.

The Democrats will have a weaker hand going forward having to deal with both the issue of mandated budget cuts (which can always been unmandated) and the reality that another debt ceiling and further GOP calls for fiscal recklessness lie ahead.

Neither party has covered itself in glory in the recent round of Truth or Dare. But one thing should remain obvious as we move forward: Republican concern for the 1 percent is matched (or even exceeded) by their contempt for the men and women who pull down paychecks.

Happy New Year!

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