So it looks like the House of Representatives is going to vote down the Senate’s payroll-tax cut extension today. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said yesterday on Meet the Press that he objects to the extension because it is only for two months, and his party prefers a bill which extends it for a year.
Of course, the Democrats would happily extend it for a year. But the Republicans wanted too many spending cuts in exchange for a full-year plan. The two-month plan was a Senate compromise (which passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority) which everyone thought was going to pass both houses until Boehner presented it to his own party yesterday. Hard-right members of his own party may really prefer the tax to go back up, because they’re concerned about funding issues and government spending. The Democrats actually may have a perverse incentive to let House Republicans flounder on this, because it makes it seem like Republicans are all for raising taxes on the middle-class and lower-class. There’s some weird crap about an oil pipeline too which was thrown in as a sweetener for the Republicans—or was it? The Democrats are claiming the oil pipeline stuff is actually a deliberate attempt to sabotage the deal, because….
Oh, who cares.
Congress’ approval rating is at 9%. One poll has it at 6%, with a margin of error of +/- 7%. So it could be zero.
You know who I blame? I blame us. We got all hyped-up about Obama and Yes We Can in 2008 and two years later we were like, Throw Da Bums Out and elected a solid Republican majority to the House. What the hell did we expect? These people just do not get along.
We’ve done the same thing to the last two presidents. Bush got handed a House Democrat majority in 2006 and Clinton got a Republican one in 1994. Bush was already on his last legs when it happened for him—Iraq looked like a quagmire and the economy was already on its way into the nosedive. Clinton actually eventually emerged victorious, sexual indiscretions aside.
I hold out little hope that Obama wins AND Democrats regain the House in 2012. That would be too much to ask in the midst of 8.5% unemployment. At this point I’m almost willing to say I’d prefer Mitt Romney, should he win, get a majority in both houses, just so we get a chance to see what a non-dysfunctional government looks like.