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House's Republican pickpockets try again

April 19, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The chamber voted 235 to 173 this week in favor of business tax breaks.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The chamber voted 235 to 173 this week… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)

Republicans are the party of business and the rich. Democrats are for the working man.

That’s what my dad always said.  

Dad, I think you were on to something.

The Times reported Thursday that the Republican-led House approved a 20% business tax break for companies with fewer than 500 employees. Republicans say it will boost the economy, but Democrats say it will add $46 billion to the deficit and that it favors wealthier business owners, celebrities and sports teams.

It probably doesn't matter. The Senate isn't likely to approve it anyway. (Of course, that would be the  Senate that recently voted to keep giving Big Oil billions in tax breaks.)

But here’s where I hear my dad’s voice:

Remember the fight over extending the payroll tax cut? Remember how Republicans insisted that it be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget? Remember how it took months to resolve, with the Republicans finally caving?

So what makes this tax break so different?

If it’s so easy to get Republican votes for tax cuts for companies, why is it so hard to get Republican votes for tax cuts for us working stiffs?

And, of course, the House vote came in the same week that Republicans in the Senate blocked consideration of the “Buffett rule,” which would -- horrors -- make really rich people pay taxes at the rate most of us do.

They say this will be a election in which people vote with their pocketbooks.

If so, my dad would say the choice is clear: Republicans want to put money in the pocketbooks of business and the rich. Democrats want to put money into the pocketbooks of the working man.

And I say: Dad, you were pretty smart after all.  

(Oh, and yes, it was me -- sorry about that dented fender on the Chevy in 1969!)

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