Congressional Republicans are worried that they're going to lose control of the House of Representatives in November and, to that end, Speaker Paul Ryan wants to hold a vote to make the tax cuts for families included in their tax cut bill permanent.
The idea is to have another round of tax cuts to tout ahead of the midterm elections even if it's merely an extension of what was already passed, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is being urged to oppose it.
Well, we can't say he's being urged to oppose it on policy grounds or merit.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is under pressure to block a vote, which Republican campaign strategists worry could allow red-state Democrats to vote for additional tax cuts and undermine one of the GOP’s most effective lines of attack in conservative-leaning states: that Democrats voted against a big tax cut last December.
“That’s a very serious concern, and Senator McConnell is going to have to decide what happens in the Senate,” said Ryan Ellis, senior tax adviser with the conservative Family Business Coalition.
So, no one is concerned that this would increase the total cost of their tax cuts to well over $2 trillion. No one is asking if this is good policy. They're simply concerned that a vote may actually help Democrats in red states.
But aren't tax cuts great? Don't we love tax cuts? Don't we want to pass more tax cuts? Don't we want Democrats to love tax cuts, too?
Maybe not if you're a political hack.
Strategists who spoke to the Washington Post say the GOP's tax cuts haven't resonated because people haven't noticed that their paychecks went up by "$40 or $60," but I have an alternative theory: they noticed but, for many people, that doesn't mean diddly-squat. That's the cost of one case of diapers or one trip to the movies. No one is remodeling their kitchen with that money.
Republicans apparently believe they've done average Americans a huge favor, but it's simply not enough money to make a major difference in a lot of people's lives and not everyone has actually seen their take-home pay go up.
Many who have seen their taxes go down have also seen the cost of health care double or triple, wiping out any possible gain a meager tax cut may have afforded them.
Even if you are one of the fortunate Americans who've seen their paychecks increase by a small amount, I think most people would agree what they've received is nothing compared to the hundreds of billions in tax cuts for corporations that are being funneled directly back into the pockets of wealthy shareholders who've also received more tax cuts on top of that.