This was highly predictable if you view the responses of the House GOP as not just piecemeal reactions but part of a general strategy as poll numbers see President Barack Obama on the (increasingly shaky) ropes:
House Republican leaders say they are rejecting President Barack Obama’s jobs proposals to rebuild schools and blighted neighborhoods, and help keep state and local employees on the job.
In a memo to GOP lawmakers that was also issued publicly and reprinted in The New York Times, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and other Republican leaders also objected to the president’s proposal for a temporary reduction in payroll taxes, in order to boost consumer spending and increase demand.
The GOP leaders say such a temporary reduction means taxes will go up later when the reduction expires in 2013.
“While employees would see an additional temporary benefit from this proposal in 2012,” they wrote, “they would experience a larger effective tax increase 12 months later when the payroll tax reverted back to its full level.
“There may be significant unforeseen downsides to large temporary tax cuts immediately followed by large tax increases,” they added.
Boehner and his GOP colleagues also say that Mr. Obama’s move to tax the wealthy claiming itemized deductions will hurt churches and other nonprofits.
Basically, unless it involves cutting taxes if Barack Obama is for it, the House GOP is against it.
On the other hand, various reports indicate that the White House never really expected GOPers to agree to the plan but it lays down Obama’s positions to run on in 2012 and also strengthens his contention that Republicans are obstructionists — a contention polls indicate many Americans now share.
The question in 2012 will be who voters are disgusted with the most — and which party is able to get its voters out (right now it appears the Republicans will vote and some Democrats will stay at home or decide to punish their part).P
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.