Testing the tax compromise
First, the Bush tax cuts. If they expire in total, everybody agrees the country is in for a heap of hurt. Therefore, up or down, should we let the tax cuts expire? A two-part question, middle class [sic] and filthy rich. There is virtually unanimous consent on the so-called middle class tax cut so keep it, don't let it expire. The so-called millionaire's tax cut? No consensus so let it expire and judge the consequences when the new congress is seated. If necessary, and I think it will be necessary, reinstate it.
Second, extending unemployment insurance. This is obviously a contradiction in terms. Any insurance element to unemployment payments has long since been blown away. Unemployment payments are popular but contrary to sound fiscal policy. Scott Brown, you are half right when you insist on using existing monies to pay for this. ... When I was unemployed and my benefits ran out, I became much more aggressive (and successful) in job hunting.
Third, payroll tax reduction. As I understand this, it is a 2% reduction in the Social Security tax payment for the worker. (I would save $2,200 a year. The total cost to the deficit - $120,000,000,000) Does this mean that we are finally doing away with the fiction that Social Security has a trust fund and a guaranteed funding stream? I think it does. Social Security can now be recognized as the massive welfare program that it actually is, an entitlement in urgent need of reform. Do not cut Social Security funding arbitrarily at this time.
Comment: More ... read the whole thing (mentions Ethanol funding which I oppose. I haven't completely sorted through the proposal. Since my income is less than $ 250K, it would be easy to say "tax the very rich (you know people not like me!)" I am concerned about the reduction of the funding for social security. Hey that program is underfunded as it is. The unemployment insurance: This phrase is accurate: "obviously a contradiction in terms. Any insurance element to unemployment payments has long since been blown away". Yet I feel for those who are unemployed.