Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 22, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

WORKING CLASS WOES PART 3....Tax cut legislation is important. But only if it benefits the rich so blatantly that it doesn't get any support from Democrats:

The White House helped to block a Republican-brokered deal on Wednesday to extend several middle-class tax cuts, fearful of a bill that could draw Democratic votes and dilute a Republican campaign theme, Republican negotiators said.

....Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, had already said he would retain most of Mr. Bush's middle-class tax cuts, and many Democratic lawmakers said they would vote for a modest extension of the tax cuts even if the extension was not paid for.

"If the Democrats had been on the same side, it would have taken a lot of arrows out of the quiver,'' said one Republican staff member.

It's good to see that tax cutting is a principled position for the Republican party, not merely a cynical wedge issue designed to enrich likely contributors and make production of anti-Democrat campaign ads easier.

Don't worry, though, the session isn't a total loss:

Perhaps in a bid to reduce tensions with Republican lawmakers, the White House offered a concession in another battle with Congress over a major highway spending bill. The administration had been threatening to veto any bill costing more than $256 billion, over six years, while the Senate had passed a bill that would spend $318 billion. On Wednesday, the White House said it would accept a bill that cost as much as $284 billion.

Though the impasse remained unresolved, the concession raised the possibility that lawmakers would be able to go back to their districts at the end of this week with a bill that includes scores of pet projects in almost every state.

Willingness to compromise over tax cuts that would help middle-class workers: none. Willingness to compromise over higher spending on pork projects: boundless.

Your Republican White House at work.

Kevin Drum 1:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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