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The guile of Sen. Jon Kyl

The day can't end without comment on this doozy.

Millions of Americans are out of work and could use an extension of unemployment benefits -- if only congressional Republicans would stop insisting that said extension be paid for by redirecting previously allocated stimulus money rather than through borrowing. With unsustainable budget deficits in the trillions for the foreseeable future, I understand the objection. Pity the GOP’s sense of fiscal responsibility lay dormant between 2001 and 2008. But when it comes to letting the tax cuts for the rich expire, watch Republicans twist themselves into ideological pretzels as they try to explain why those tax cuts should continue, without saying where the money to continue them would come from.

Case in point, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). Our editorial today lays out the case.

The issue is whether the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended, adding another $678 billion to the deficit over the next decade. The tax cuts, it's worth remembering, passed originally in 2001 with the argument that the surplus was so large that rates could be cut with budgetary room to spare. Now that the fiscal picture has deteriorated so badly, the questions remains: How are you going to pay the $678 billion? And if you don't, how are you going to justify the added damage to an already grim fiscal outlook?

I can’t wait for the Republican response.

By Jonathan Capehart  | July 14, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Here's one response.
Jonathan is right to criticize the GOP's past of budgetary lunacy. Is it hypocritical? Call it whatever you want.

But the Repubs seem to have gotten religion. The country has no stomach at all for more borrowed money when we are in a vast maw of debt and deficits. I would have more respect for those who want to extend benefits yet again if they found a way to pay for it.

We have acted like a self-abusive compulsive shopper with our credit and debt and it must stop. It must stop somewhere. If that's guile, take it by the mile.

Posted by: slatt321 | July 14, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Poor people don't create private-sector jobs. Who does?

If we let lower tax rates expire (call it a tax hike if you like) then there is less money out there for small business to hire, for corporations to hire, etc.

Let them expire and job creators will invest less, fine. But don't expect unemployment and job creation to improve till that changes.

Posted by: slatt321 | July 14, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Our nation is in deep trouble. Jon Kyle IS deep trouble. Kyle is expendable. Our nation is not!

Posted by: bloommarko4 | July 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Great, Slatt. Let's go ahead and perpetuate the myth that the rich do nothing with that extra cash but invest in jobs for us struggling masses to fill. Nope, nothing but nose to the grindstone for those fine, upstanding citizens.

No, they pile it up offshore, while their corporations continue to outsource jobs to India.

Screw the rich. If we're going to cut taxes, us middle class stiffs are the one who need the relief.

Posted by: sbuchanan11 | July 14, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

sbuchanan11, AMEN!

Posted by: slatt321 | July 14, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Put into perspective (something WaPo lacks), we're talking $678 billion vs about $30 trillion of government tax collection. It's also equivalent of raising individual income tax on those making more than $200k by more than 10%.

Gee, those IRS SOI reports are full of info. (add www)irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=98123,00.html

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | July 14, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Business revenue is at a 50 year high, they are sitting on mountains of cash, much of it ill-gotten.

Meanwhile worker productivity soars, why hire when you can squeeze more work out of an already depleted and scared workforce?

Posted by: JRM2 | July 14, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Senator Kyl is a reminder that some Republicans are as spendthrift and dishonest as the Democrats.
I fear we will get rid of Nancy's shopping spree only to find Tom Delay's Ghost back in charge. John Boehner is another example , these guys are not just the piano players at the whorehouse, they are the hookers.

Posted by: devluddite | July 14, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Here in Nevada the offical unemployment rate is 14.4%.The unoffical rate is more like 25-30% People like the thousands of small business owners who went bkrpt because there's no one to buy their services (and are not eligible for unemployment,) people whose benefits ran out months ago and now the rest who have lost their benefits this month. 1 in 3 houses in Las Vegas have either been foreclosed on or are in foreclosure. The banks have mainly stopped evicting owner-occupiers who are up to a year behind in mort. payments because the market's flooded and the masses of vacant houses only invite thieves to rip out copper wires/pipes, granite counters, appliances-gutting the houses down to the kitchen cabinets.This destroys any remaining value.
I bought my house in '95 for $85K-30 yrs @6.%-I refied 87,000 for 15 yrs @4.75%. In '08 my house was appraised at $285K. Everyday I had phone,mail,and doorbell ringing RE agents with offers to refi on this equity. I didn't.
I was laid off my $76K a year job in March 2009. I only had $45K in savings left because I had had to pay for home care 12 hours a day for my blind, incontinent, bedridden mother for the two years prior to her death. That 45K went to pay my bills.Since the only offers on my house are are in the low $30's and I owe $54K the bank won't OK a short sale,(+the house will be paid off in 6 years) because I've never missed a payment.How can a house and 1/5 acre be worth only $34K?
I've been applying for jobs,any job,for the last year. Job fairs, everywhere. I'm either way over qualified (too much education, too high previous salaries,, too much exp, speak 2 3/4 languages) or unsuitable if I leave out all of the above.(I'm a 58 yr old woman.)or I can't type 140 wpm. I'm trying to sell everything I own,but should I sell a 7 pc sterling silver tea set for $400 when the same co. offering to buy it has it for sale for $6,740?
I have 2 of 3 bedrooms rented out, both to women with a child. I'm in violation of housing laws. I don't have any family to go to. Unemployment left $32 a month after mortgage, elec, car & health ins,(luckly only $116,)garbage, sewer, water,and $99 for landline phone, internet and tv. (If I cut out basic cable tv, the internet and phone will be $74.) The rent they pay (+$32 above) pay for perscriptions,dr bills, milk(food bank for food)gas ($20 a mo.)$10 a month for cat food, and anything else I might need, like toliet paper, paper for resumes, postage stamps. Every job has dozens if not hundreds of applicants.THERE ARE NO JOBS HERE AND I DON"T EVEN HAVE THE GAS MONEY TO LEAVE TOWN.So how, exactly, does cutting off extended benefits make me more likely to find a job? Or anyone else? If there where jobs OK.Nationwide, 1 job for 5 OFFICAL jobless. Here 50 to 1.
In '08 my fed.tax rate was 25% over $32,650. (made 76K pd 15K) but if instead of working it was cap.gains- 10-15%. Do I feel bad about not renewing the tax cuts? I personally knew 6 suicides. What do you think?

Posted by: DMDinNV | July 15, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Every economic study, including the CBO, says that unemployment compensation is one of the most effective ways to stimulate the economy, because those dollars go right back into the economy in the forms of rent, mortgage payments, gas, groceries, paying down credit card debt incurred before unemployment, and some necessary clothing purchases. None of it goes to investment, savings, or vacations on the Riviera.

Can we say the same about the tax cuts for high income citizens? I don't think so.

Posted by: vklip | July 15, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

We should take Obama's suggestion to the extreme in raising the capital gains tax. He wants 20% for over a million, I say start indexing at a million using a scale that maxes out at 40% for over 200 million. Use that money for an investment tax credit that must be invested in America. Giving Wal Mart billionaires a tax break to open another factory in China is absurd. Letting American corporations defer taxes on foreign income absurd looking at S&P getting over half it's income from overseas. If an American went into debt knowingly like our gov't, they would be thrown in jail. Trickle down became outsource out for the extra two points on the bottom line killing the disposable income of your market when everybody loses their well paid job with benefits to work part time at some chain.

Posted by: jameschirico | July 15, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

President Reagan cut taxes at the very beginning of his terms. Unemployment INCREASED and averaged over 10% during his second year.

President Clinton raised taxes at the very beginning of his terms. These were not cut during his administration. 20,569.000 new PRIVATE SECTOR jobs were created.

President Bush cut taxes over $2 TRILLION during his terms. 417,000 new private sector jobs were created during his terms.

The lesson is clear.

Posted by: lensch | July 15, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

slatt321 @ July 14, 2010 6:02 PM wrote "Jonathan is right to criticize the GOP's past of budgetary lunacy. Is it hypocritical? Call it whatever you want. But the Repubs seem to have gotten religion."

I don't know what religion you practice, but preaching is not religion. It is hot air. The Republicans could prove that they have changed if they participated in governance. Instead all they have done is say NO, and produced a 'budget' that has no numbers. That is hot air.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | July 15, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

The fact is the snack food (pretzel logic even seems to mild) to describe the cruel and crazy argument against extending unemployment benefits. Remember, five people for each job opening, according to DOL.
btw, I've been hearing great job search advice on an internet radio show at www.jobtalkamerica.com...if you're still looking for work.

Posted by: kcsam215 | July 15, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Kyl and Boehner both voted hypocritically for a new engine for the joint strike fighter. This is an over-budget mess that Def Sec Gates wanted CUT, not EXPANDED!

DoD spending doesn't adhere to Pay-go, but the F35 spending and now a GE engine plan were just plain spending excesses.

Posted by: rowens1 | July 15, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

slatt321 wrote: "But the Repubs seem to have gotten religion."

--
Yep, they've all had a fiscal epiphany, right? Republicans have been finding that same fiscal "religion" during the run up to every election for the last 40 years, and how many times have they actually followed through? Once they're in office, it's all history.

How many times do you have to be fooled? Or do you honestly believe that THIS time they've REALLY gotten the message? You're perfect fodder for their scheme.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | July 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

So if these tax cut are still in effect, and I believe they are, why haven't those benefitting from them been creating the jobs that the GOP claims needs to come from the private sector in order for the economy to turn around. Am I missing something here?

Posted by: kolb7926 | July 15, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The continuation of tax cuts for the rich, elimination of inheritance tax and all the other perks the republicans are pushing will add 3.5 TRILLION DOLLARS to our deficit. The republicans do not say no more policies without funds to cover on this.No, they would rather continue their undying support for the rich, Wall St, and sacrifice the unemployed which they created.

Posted by: kathlenec | July 15, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The continuation of tax cuts for the rich, elimination of inheritance tax and all the other perks the republicans are pushing will add 3.5 TRILLION DOLLARS to our deficit. The republicans do not say no more policies without funds to cover on this.No, they would rather continue their undying support for the rich, Wall St, and sacrifice the unemployed which they created.

Posted by: kathlenec | July 15, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The continuation of tax cuts for the rich, big business etc, elimination of inheritance tax and all the other perks the republicans are pushing will add 3.5 TRILLION DOLLARS to our deficit. The republicans do not say no more policies without funds to cover on this.No, they would rather continue their undying support for the rich, Wall St, and sacrifice the unemployed which they created.

Posted by: kathlenec | July 15, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Poor people don't create private-sector jobs. Who does?""

The middle class.
The rich only stock pile there money and put profits above America.
They should be outsourced.

Posted by: newagent99 | July 15, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be nice if we were talking about the LACK of jobs, which is creating the need for all of the unemployment benefits,rather than villifying Kyl and the GOP for opposing more insane spending by this administration and Congress? Where is the sense of outrage for the lies this guy has told? Instead, let's tax the financial class that is responsible for creating most of the jobs in this country, the rich. California lost over 5,000 millionaires from their state last year because Sacramento taxed them out of their businesses and the state. By necessity they moved elsewhere to escape the ridiculous burden placed on them by greedy, money grubbing politicians. Now, Obama and his fat cats are doing the same thing on a national level. Soon, America will look just like Detroit, a mere shell of what was once a fine and great city. Obama's agenda breeds mediocrity and death for the cities and this country as a whole. Anyone who supports it is either on welfare, greedy or just plain dumb.

Posted by: desertbells | July 15, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart makes the same mistake every liberal makes when he says this about tax cuts: "without saying where the money to continue them would come from."

Mr. Capehart obviously thinks that all resources belong to the government first and formost. The person, business, or organization that worked, risked capital, and earned it is secondary. Only with the government's good graces does it allow the people who worked for it keep a portion.

Mr. Capehart obviously thinks the bigger the government, the better. The more resources that government takes out of the economy so as to dole out money and pick its winners and losers, depending on the prevailing political wind, is ok with Mr. Capehart. Never mind his attacking the GOP for deficits from 2001 through 2008, for if I'm not mistaken, Democrats have ran Congress since 2007.

With Mr. Capehart's columns, you always know what you're getting before you read the first sentence. My mistake because the column wasn't a doozy, it was boring and predictable.

Posted by: Rschrim1 | July 15, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't this really be titled, "The Gall of John Kyl?"

Posted by: wd1214 | July 15, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

slatt321 posts July 14, 2010 6:02 PM
“I would have more respect for those who want to extend benefits yet again if they found a way to pay for it.”

Slatt321, Paying for it is easy… take it from the bloated military budget. Start by closing 90% of the 900+ foreign military bases NOW!

Posted by: knjincvc | July 15, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

slatt321 posts July 14, 2010 6:07 PM
“If we let lower tax rates expire (call it a tax hike if you like) then there is less money out there for small business to hire, for corporations to hire, etc. Let them expire and job creators will invest less, fine. But don't expect unemployment and job creation to improve till that changes.”


Apparently you have not been affected by “The Great Republican Recession”, bush left office after losing 8.5 million jobs plus jobs lost in the first three months of Obama’s administration.

The tax cuts for the top 1% did nothing but add $5+ Trillion dollars to Reagan’s $5 Trillion Dollar debt.

Posted by: knjincvc | July 15, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart,

we would have PLENTY of $$$$$$$ for unemployment comnpensation IF you could get BHO & his "motley crew of nitwits, thugs, bigots, antisemites, union bosses & cheap,scheming Chicago politicians" to REPEAL "obamacare", which THREE FOURTHS of American voters do NOT want.

better yet, DUMP the ENTIRE unspent portion of all the stupid/needless/ignorant/wasteful BOONDOGGLES that the SELF-important, LYING, elitist DIMocRATS have passed since 20JAN09 and replace those programs with NOTHING.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | July 15, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

When a man falls overboard of a ship the people on deck do not waste time arguing about the cost or if doing so will be beneficial to the whole ship or not, they throw the lifeline right away because that is the right and humane thing to do. Well many millions of Americans need a lifeline because they are sinking economically. I lost my job of ten years due to the recession. I try but can not find a job. My unemployment benefits have run out. I served six years in the military. I have worked and paid taxes all my life. Now that I need a helping hand from my country I am being told "NO" by certain lawmakers who have very good paying jobs and are in need of nothing. If these lawmakers had to endure the next several months with no money to live and could not pay their bills, they would have a very different viewpoint. What they are doing is shameful. These are Americans denying fellow Americans the very basic needs of life. They have the nerve to go on vacation and live the good life then come back and continue to argue instead of helping we Americans in distress while we worry about losing our cars and our homes. We won’t even have enough money for gas to continue to look for work. The job market is still terrible. We need that extension to the point our lives depend on it. All the experts agree that it would also stimulate the economy. There has got to be a compromise that both parties can agree on. Somebody has got to do something or this is no longer the America we Vets fought for.

Posted by: rickw1983 | July 16, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

rickw1983,

i feel your pain. = i'm hanging onto my job by my fingernails at this point, as the "OBAMA DEPRESSION" is KILLING our industry, by "outsourcing to foreign firms".

let me ask you a couple of questions:

1.Have you written to your congress-critter, senators & to BHO & DEMANDED that they STOP throwing money down every rathole that they can find both here or abroad and HELP our veterans & other AMERICAN CITIZENS?
2. Have you joined THE TEA PARTY to help us "common folks" take our country back for "regular folks"?
3. Have you been to the American Legion, VFW, DAV (if disabled) or other Veteran's Organization & asked for your brother's/sister's HELP in locating a DECENT/good-paying job?
(my best buddy tried that & was offered TWO jobs the first week, by members of the local VFW post.- he's now making more money than i am, doing a skill that he learned in the Navy!)
4. have you been to the VA & gotten your Veteran's Health Card and, while there, ask what they can do for you?

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | July 16, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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