Monday, September 13, 2010

Taking Tax Cuts for a Walk

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) seemed to signal that he was willing to compromise and work with the President on tax cuts yesterday:

“If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I’ll vote for them,” Mr. Boehner said in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS, during which the host, Bob Schieffer, pointedly asked whether Republicans would hold the tax breaks for most Americans “hostage” to keep the lower rates for the wealthy.

The Bush-era tax cuts are due to expire on Dec. 31 and have become a major issue in a midterm campaign dominated by voter anger over the weak economy and concerns about the nation’s rising debt.

Once that news got out, the countdown clock began on how soon it would be before he tried to walk that back. By my count, about eight hours.

Rep. Boehner just released the following statement, apparently trying to walk back his comments from his Face the Nation appearance earlier today.

…”Instead of resorting to tired old class warfare rhetoric, pitting one working American against another, the president and the Democratic leadership should start working with us this week to ensure a fair and open debate to pass legislation to cut spending and freeze tax rates without any further delay.”

Ah, yes, the old “class warfare” gambit. Funny how you never hear them bring that up when they’re cutting taxes for the rich and cutting services for the poor.

Mr. Boehner has been targeted by President Obama as the face of the new leadership of the Congress if the GOP takes back the House in November. The roundtable discussion at ABC’s This Week started out with George F. Will dismissing the tactic as the president going after a Congressman from Cincinnati as if Mr. Boehner was being unfairly singled out. “Nobody knows who he is,” was the thrust of his argument, and basically conceding the point that Mr. Boehner is a particularly soft target. He seemed to prove that pretty well yesterday.