Speaker of the House Boehner once again caved in to political pressure to strike a deal with the Senate about the payroll tax. (Fox News)
Reaction is predictable. Senator Reid is declaring a victory. House conservatives are calling for Boehner to step down. President Obama is making speeches. And once again the American people are completely duped by bad politics.
It truly is about politics. Neither side wants to be seen as the bad guy who raises taxes. Both sides want to be champions of the middle class. Republicans and Democrats know that an election is coming up – and that maneuvering of this type is essential to win (or hold) seats.
So Speaker Boehner caved. Good politics demanded it.
But good politics is never a substitute for bad policy. And this two-month extension is truly that – bad policy. Businesses do not run on 60 day cycles. They cannot retool for two months, and then retool again as policy changes. Small business does not want good policy for short term. Small business wants good policy that is measured in years, not months.
Boehner did not have much of a choice. Once again he was laid wide open by Senate Republicans who seek always to compromise, or at the very least, want all these battles to be fought on the House floor. He is also compromised by the GOP’s continued inability to properly get their message out – and get it out clearly. The Democrats are the masters of the Sound Bite – and the Speaker knows it. So – like the Super Committee on Tax Cuts – good politics leads to bad policy.
Come next November, lets combine good politics AND good policy – shall we?