The House of Representatives passed the payroll tax cut extension this morning with a bipartisan vote of 293 – 162. Shortly after the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 60-36. The passage guarantees 160 Million workers and extension of the payroll tax cut until the end of the year, putting an
extra $1000 into the pockets of working Americans. 90 Republicans broke ranks with House Speaker John Boehner.
In order to prevent another fight on the issue as was the case before Christamas, Republican leaders caved by permitting the bill to pass without a way to pay for it. Republicans wanted cuts to offset the money being slashed from the Social Security Trust Fund, which some believe will reach insolvency by 2017. The passage of the bill adds another $100 Billion to the deficit.
The Obama White House had started another campaign of “What $40 buys”, similar to the one before Christmas. Unfortunately with rising prices at the pumps, which are expected to reach a national average of $4 a gallon by this summer, this won’t be much relief. America’s mounting debt has to be a concern. The debt will reach $16.2 Trillion, a rise of 43% since Obama took office, by the end of the year and is mounting, with no cuts in sight.
What has become clear during Obama’s first mandate that there is no taste for any cuts. If the hard decisions are not made at this time, it may become extremely painful when the country is forced to make them. While oil prices rise, Obama continues to reject the XL Keystone pipeline and the issue of drilling permits on public land and offshore. Obama continues to stress alternate energy that private industry is not investing in.
While the passage of the payroll taxcut extension may be a temporary victory for the President, is it really a victory for America? Probably not, sooner or later the
piper must be paid.