'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the House, the Teapublicans were jostling, each trying to prove that he was the biggest louse..."
Tuesday, the Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted to increase taxes on 160 million Americans when they voted to reject a Senate compromise that would have extended the payroll tax holiday by two months.
They're trying to blame President Obama and the Democrats in Congress for this betrayal of the the vast majority of working Americans, but the bottom line is that the people who oppose any tax increases that affect corporations and wealthy people shamelessly threw average people under the economic bus.
Beside the expected outcry from Democrats and other advocates for middle class and working families, even Republicans as disparate as Sen. Scott Brown (MA) and Sen. John McCain (AZ) have roundly criticized the actions of the House Republicans.
Brown, as perhaps the most vulnerable R senator up for election next year, is justifiably worried about the impact of the Teapublicans' tantrum on his reelection chances. With consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren hot on his heels, Wall Street's favorite senator has realized that he'd better look like he has Main Street's back if he wants to return to the Senate in 2013.
McCain on the other hand was just reelected last year and is from an R leaning state. He has no short-term motivations when he points out that the House Rs' greed (they want what they want and refuse to compromise or even negotiate in good faith) is hurting the entire R brand. Going into a presidential election year.
Most observers, including me, expect that the payroll tax holiday will be extended eventually. The only real question is how much damage the House Republicans will wreak upon the middle class and the economy as a whole before they do right thing.
Note: Of the AZ Congressional delegation, Republicans David Schweikert, Ben Quayle, Paul Gosar, and Trent Franks voted to raise taxes on the middle class while Democrats Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor and Republican Jeff Flake (running for US Senate) voted against it. Gabby Giffords didn't vote as she is continuing her recovery from January's shooting in Tucson.