Good Thursday morning. Here’s a glance at today’s opinion content:
Payroll tax: Editorial
We comment on the news that the GOP-Controlled House voted 229-193 to reject a bipartisan compromise to extend a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for two months beyond January. Among those opposing the extension was Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-Mount Kisco. We write:
… Both the payroll tax cut and unemployment measure are worth doing. The payroll tax cut passed in 2010 has meant savings of around $1,000 for those earning $50,000 a year; the extra cash has helped drive economic demand where raises from reluctant employers have not. Without an extension of the jobless benefits, some 1.8 million long-term unemployed will lose their safety net come January. The economy — for all Americans — would suffer, because the jobless spend their government checks, further fueling demand.
By one analysis, some 1.3 million jobs are tied to both measures, along with up to 1.1 percentage points of expected GDP growth. The impasse would also cost doctors big cuts in Medicare payments. The economy can withstand none of those shocks.
The House Republicans say they won’t budge until President Barack Obama prevails upon the Senate Democrats to return to work. Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, has said the Democrats won’t budge until the House Republicans OK the bipartisan agreement reached by the Senate. So they are stuck, and fitfully so, with the American people and the economy once again caught in the middle.
Here’s a glance at what our colleagues are saying today:
What’s wrong with the GOP?: Editorial, Albany Times Union
More political games: Editorial, The Buffalo News
Putting paychecks at risk: Editorial, The New York Times
Holding Congress in contempt: Editorial, New York Post
The GOP’s payroll tax fiasco: Editorial, Wall Street Journal