We learned from the debt-ceiling debacle that the GOP really, really hates taxes. They hate them so much that they would rather ruin the country’s credit rating than raise them even slightly. This is a principled stand, they claim. So much so that the vast majority of Republicans signed Grover Norquist’s written pledge to never, ever raise taxes no matter what.
So what possible explanation can there be for GOP opposition to the move by Democrats in Congress to extend the payroll-tax holiday? It’s a tax, is it not. It would “increase” if the holiday is not extended? So it appears that the GOP’s principled opposition to all tax increases isn’t so absolute after all. In particular, they oppose only those tax increases that would apply primarily to the most fortunate in life. As Jim Fallows argues here, when the taxes on the table are those “(a) that weigh most heavily on the people who are already struggling, and (b) would have the most obvious ‘job-killing’ effect if they went up,” the GOP is perfectly happy to leave those kinds of taxes in place.
There are readers of this blog who fervently support the GOP. If one of you will explain in the comments section what I’m overlooking here, it would be greatly appreciated.