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Tax extenders bill fails

A quick list of presidents who wouldn't have been inaugurated if 57 percent of the vote was insufficient: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman ... I could go on.

But the tax extender bill failed in the Senate today. It only got 57 percent of the vote. If there's anything encouraging here, it's that Olympia Snowe is making noises about a standalone vote for unemployment benefits. But there's really not much that's encouraging here, and that's particularly true if you're a small business that can't find a loan, or an unemployed person who can't find work. As far as the Senate is concerned, the recession is over. The election has begun.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 24, 2010; 6:03 PM ET
 
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Comments

Unlike the bill that failed today, a standalone unemployment bill -- a bill not including hidden funding for the deliberately underfunded and deficit-increasing PPACA -- might merit unanimity in the Senate.

It's too bad that the Social-Democratic Party (SDP) leadership can't simply present such a bill: doing so would only require that the leadership acknowledge that the PPACA has expanded Medicaid to a degree which cannot be borne by most state budgets. Just by saying "uncle" -- by admitting that the PPACA was passed based on fraudulent projections of savings and deficit reduction -- the SDP leadership might quickly change the perception held by the overwhelming majority of voting citizens.

I'll bet the SDP leadership can never humble itself to the degree necessary. Their arrogance hurts us all.

Posted by: rmgregory | June 24, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Does this guarantee a double-dip? Following up on the heels of a pretty dismal housing report and the end of the Census-driven employment spurt I don't see how our economy can suffer a 900,000-strong job loss.

Wonder what'd be a good way to punish the conservative lunatic fringe with purely executive power? Need to get creative...

Posted by: reader44 | June 24, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

To rmgregory - Good Points.
To reader44 - We are already likely headed for a double-dip because the dems are going to raise taxes on everyone next year. The economy is not going to "suffer a 900,000-strong job loss" because the UI Benefits package wasn't passed. We (I'm one of those that lost my benefits this week) are already unemployed. What happens is that 900,000 and hundreds of thousands more each week fall off the roles, making the DEMS LOOK BETTER - LIKE UNEMPLOYMENT IS GOING DOWN.
And we shouldn't be "punishing the conservative lunatic fringe". They offered a fully paid for amendment that covered most of the bill including ALL the unemployment benefits through November, not reducing them by $25 per month as the Dems proposed, and their plan REDUCED THE DEFICIT BY $68 BILLION instead of adding to it. They did this by using some unallocated stimulus funds, freezing gov. wages, selling unused gov property, collecting $3 Billion in unpaid income taxes from gov employees and trimming the fat from budget 5% across the board (sans VA/DOD). Unfortunately, the liberal lunatic fringe voted it down. The liberal lunatic fringe also refused TWO offers to bifurcate unemployment benefits extensions from the rest of the bill and give it to us, the unemployed, for a month while they debated the rest of the bill. We wouldn't have to be suffering if the liberal lunatic fringe hadn't crashed this economy and then liberal lunatic Obama and this shameful bunch of liberal lunatics in Congress hadn't quadrupled the mess that foolish, non-conservative Bush set up for them.
Oh and ... Speaking of executive power ... Obama may be planning to use that ... to go around Congress and the Constitution to grant amnesty to illegals. Can't wait for the Cap and trade bill so more jobs can be lost and prices shot through the roof.

Posted by: singleUEmom | June 24, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

It's disheartening that it requires 60% of the vote to get anything accomplished in the senate. I have serious doubts that democrats will have nearly this strong of party unity if or when they lose the senate in 2012.

Posted by: will12 | June 24, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Time to organize poor people's marches. The narrative has to chance such that a similar vote becomes toxic for the GOP.

Posted by: leoklein | June 24, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Come November the GOP will be back in control and we won't have to worry about liberal-left extremist fringe rule any longer. Instead of doing the right thing and just slashing taxes and getting off the backs of businesses, this president and the lunatic left fringe Congress want to raise taxes, spend like drunken sailors, and tank everything. Commentators across the board have sounded the alarm about the deficit, yet we still have people calling for more spending. It's the deficit, stupid. What about our grandchildren? What about bonds? What about being able to live without World War II era inflation? This radical tax-and-spend agenda didn't work for FDR (read Shlaes), it didn't work for Johnson, it didn't work for Jimmy Carter, it didn't work for Clinton. Cut taxes, cut the government, create a private economy, and cut off the pipeline of illegals who depress wages and we'll be back to full employment in no time.

Posted by: hihi22 | June 25, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

singleUEmom: "We wouldn't have to be suffering if the liberal lunatic fringe hadn't crashed this economy..."

Whaaaaa? Remind me exactly when the economy crashed, please. I think the facts indisputably show it was before the last inauguration.

hihi22: "Commentators across the board have sounded the alarm about the deficit, yet we still have people calling for more spending. It's the deficit, stupid."

Across the board? It must be a very limited board. Yes, the long term problem is the deficit. But the short term problem is jobs and growth. There are plenty of commentators saying the proper response is spending now with long-term spending cuts in the future. The problem with the deficit is not one-time stimulus spending; it's getting control over long-term entitlement and defense spending which constitute the bulk of the federal budget.

"This radical tax-and-spend agenda didn't work for FDR (read Shlaes)"

And while you're at it, read critics of Shales. Some people say that the New Deal didn't get us out of the depression, WWII did. But what was WWII economically but the biggest deficit spending program in our nation's history? And when FDR tried to balance the budget in 1937 when the economy looked like it was improving, it tanked again. One should not presume cause and effect, but it should raise the concern that austerity now might be a really, really bad idea.

Sometimes I think if today's Republicans had been in charge during the Great Depression, we'd still be in it.

Posted by: dasimon | June 25, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Does Senator Reid realize that he is contradicting himself on this issue?


UI funding should be treated as a stand alone "emergency" and not as part of a strategy to push other measures.


You don't wash the fire truck when you're trying to fight the fire.

Posted by: kevin4horse | June 25, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Does Senator Reid realize that he is contradicting himself on this issue?


UI funding should be treated as a stand alone "emergency" and not as part of a strategy to push other measures.


You don't wash the fire truck when you're trying to fight the fire.

Posted by: kevin4horse | June 25, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

How many Hoovervilles need to pop-up throughout the country before the Senate Republicans notice the harm done to our country? Or will they be called Obamavilles and then the Senate Republicans will be happy because they "won." Why can't the millions of hard working Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own be treated with some dignity and not turned into homeless political pawns?

Posted by: freecostesti | June 28, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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