Our leaders have done it! The Senate has approved a package of tax hikes, in order to keep our country from tumbling over the “fiscal cliff.” The vote to approve the bill was 89-8. Let’s all bask in that warm bipartisan glow!
The deal was brokered by negotiations between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republicans. We should all take comfort that such intellectual titans were doing the heavy lifting on this crucial matter! Aren’t you relieved that brainy, detail-oriented statesmen like Biden and Senate leaders scrupulously evaluated the wording of the new taxes and their potential economic impact and the loopholes that inevitably must have been part of the deal? There is every reason to be confident that this carefully considered legislation will not produce any unintended consequences. After all, the Senate proudly calls itself “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” I bet they deliberated on this bill for a few minutes, and maybe even longer! Oh, and Harry Reid is in favor of it. What more do we need to know?
There’s lots of new taxes in this proposal: increased estate taxes, increased capital gains taxes, and increased income taxes for those people who, purely through dumb luck and undeserved good fortune, make more than $400,000 a year. What’s important, though, is that the draconian spending cuts that everyone wanted to avoid would be delayed for two months under this proposal. Thank God! That will allow the President, the Senate, and the House even more time to really roll up their sleeves and come up with meaningful spending cuts that wouldn’t be ruinous. Once the tax increases take effect, of course, our leaders will be eager to make tough spending decisions that will incur the ire of government workers and the special interest groups that are invested in the continuation of every federal program, no matter how ill-conceived, bloated, or unsuccessful that program might be. Maybe, after two months of thoughtful analysis, our leaders also might decide that what they should really do is impose more taxes on us, and further shore up the revenue side of the budget. And we can be sure, too, that our leaders won’t wait until the last minute to take action. Long before the two-month extension period expires, our leaders will have agreed upon well-reasoned spending reductions and program cuts and “revenue enhancements” that will delight every American.
Of course, this well-crafted Senate proposal still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives. With this kind of quality legislation pending, though, why would any member of the House of Representatives vote “no”?