The long running sitcom “Washington Is Broken” aired this past weekend. The plot centers on how Democrats and Republicans continue to put party, politics and job preservation ahead of the will of the people.
The episode starts with the President giving another eloquent stump speech to Democratic supporters. “We need to reduce the deficit.” he says. (Applause) “We need to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.” (More applause) “We need to create jobs and put Americans back to work.” (Cheers) “And we need to stop playing politics and do the peoples’ business...RIGHT NOW.” (The crowd erupts)
The scene then shifts to the White House where the President and his staff are debating whether to support the Keystone pipeline. The Keystone pipeline will carry oil sands from Canada to Texas. The construction project alone will create thousands of jobs. It will reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil; and it will not add one penny to the deficit. Oil barons love the idea. Conservationists hate it. The President likes the pipeline. But the staff warns that with the expectation of a very close election in 2012 it would be risky to choose this time to alienate the conservationists. A decision is made…the President will delay support of the pipeline until 2013…after his second term is secured.
After a commercial break the scene moves to the Capitol where Republicans are debating an extension of the payroll tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of the year. The Republicans hate tax increases. Most of them have signed a pledge to never, ever, ever vote for a tax increase for as long as they live. They have defeated every Democratic proposal to increase taxes on their breadwinners…the rich. They have argued that increasing taxes during this weak economy is the worst thing they Congress can do. If the payroll tax cuts are not extended the result will amount to an average annual tax INCREASE of $1,000 per wage earner. But Republicans decide to block the payroll tax cut extension even though it will increase taxes on most Americans. Why? Because the tax increase would mostly fall on the middle class…not the “rich job creators” that Republicans work so hard to protect. And the last thing Republicans want to do is give Democrats and Obama a big “win” right before the election.
And so ends another episode of “Washington Is broken.”
Tune in today and watch as Speaker Boehner performs his version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On Saturday the Speaker voiced his approval of the Senate’s passage of a short term extension of the payroll tax cuts. Watch now as Boehner moves to block the very same bill as it moves back to the House.