Sen. Kyle: Can’t afford Unemployment extension; No help for Small Business until Tax Cut for Super-Wealthy!
Report from The Wonk Room:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he is going to pull the extenders bill and move onto a bill meant to boost small business lending. “We’re going to move to the small business jobs bill,” said Reid. “We can’t pass [the extenders bill] until we get some Republicans…It’s up to them.” However, this is the same small business bill that Republicans have already said that they are going to bog down in their intense desire to cut taxes for the heirs of multimillionaires and billionaires:
A small-business bill coming soon to the Senate floor could provide the catalyst for a big issue: the long-awaited debate over the future of the estate tax. Asked Thursday whether he planned to push for an estate tax amendment on that bill, Minority Whip Jon Kyl said: “Count on it.”
It would be incredibly irresponsible for Congress to find spending offsets to cut the estate tax, considering the state of the economy and that the money could be used on job creation measures. But it would be doubly irresponsible to do so without passing the extenders bill, thus leaving the unemployed and those who rely on services in their states simply out to dry.
There are currently 15 millions Americans unemployed, and almost half of them have been out of work for at least six months, which is a post-World War II record. There are nearly five workers actively searching for work for every job available, compared to 1.5 per job opening before the recession began.
At the same time, income inequality is the worst its been since 1928. According to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “the gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007 (the period for which these data are available).”
As Buffett has said, “If there’s a class war, my side has won.” Sen. Kyle is making sure that it stays that way. Throw the unemployed and small businesses to the wolves, but cut even more taxes for the super-wealthy…and then act so outraged in speeches about budget deficits. If Kyle were serious about cutting the deficit, he wouldn’t be pushing for another tax cut for the super-wealthy. If he were concerned about the rate of employment, he’d be doing whatever is necessary to reduce unemployment, including providing tax cuts and benefits to small businesses. Obviously, the deficit, small businesses and the unemployed are not among his priorities.
In my opinion, this is just another example of what is wrong with Congress.