Congressional Democrats, you had your chance.
You could’ve extended tax cuts prior to the mid-term elections. You also could’ve done it this week.
You could’ve been the ones to give us all some relief. You could’ve gotten employers to get up off the piles of cash they’ve all been sitting on and start hiring again. You could’ve started a turnaround. You could’ve been the heroes.
But instead, the first time, you were too afraid you were going to lose if you did that, as usual because of misplaced priorities. You were so caught up in catering to that faction in your party that wants to punish the “evil rich” that you forgot about how you’d punish the rest of America in the process. Even the president has recognized this.
But in typical directionless fashion you didn’t, and you lost anyway. Big time.
And now, this bunch of lame ducks will do what Democrats always do: Gnash their teeth for a while about something they don’t like — and then pass it anyway.
A few of us were talking about this lack of gumption in the newsroom the other day. I think it’s indicative of why so many of us are now in that coveted independent class of voters.
Republicans frightened a lot of us away, in part, ironically enough, with fear. The malevolent “they” was always on the bend to do us harm. “They” are coming for your guns. “They” are coming for your money. “They” are coming for your religion, your jobs, your babies. Tired of the daily boogeyman report from the GOP, a lot of us who are otherwise conservative drifted toward the middle.
But from the middle what did we see on the other side? The same bunch of wimps that have filled that party for decades. They never seem to have the guts to stand up for what they believe in, much less the folks they claim to be protecting.
Democrats have harangued and harrumphed the wars for nearly a decade, yet many of them voted for them. They have sworn by single-payer health insurance, yet they let that option die. They have lamented how much the middle class is suffering, yet they now threaten to derail a plan that would give us relief, all in the name of standing up to the rich and preserving entitlements.
In the meantime, they pass symbolic legislation like the DREAM Act and partial extensions that are nothing more than posturing for 2012. What they plan on saying: “See what we did was, we tried to give you a break back in 2010, but the evil Republican millionaires wouldn’t let us. But boy did we show them.”
Hogwash. If you really wanted to help you would do what the president is doing now and compromise. Unemployment benefits in exchange for millionaires’ tax breaks. It may be a bizarre equation, but at least it’s getting something done, because you know what? My family can’t afford to move back up into a higher bracket. Most folks can’t. But Democrats would put us there out of spite.
Republicans are not innocent. They fight for their precious rich as hard as the Democrats fight against them. But there is one key difference when it comes to taxes: The GOP recognizes that letting the government siphon even more money from a near-empty well will stall economic progress. Democrats apparently think it’s the only way to make any, despite the American people telling them otherwise on Election Day.
Passing the extensions prior to Nov. 2 would’ve shown political courage. Fighting them now is just political grandstanding. And thinking we can’t tell the difference is just insulting.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.