It’s only been a year since Congressional Republicans, bent on cutting spending, manufactured a financial crisis by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling. Now, apparently thinking the public has forgotten that debacle, they’re furious that Democrats have figured out a way to turn the tables.
Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a member of the Democratic leadership, said Monday that her party was prepared to let all the Bush-era tax cuts expire on Jan. 1 if Republicans refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy. The same holds true, she said, for the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that begin at the same time, which Republicans demanded in the debt crisis but now oppose after realizing that the cuts affect more than social welfare programs.
Republican leaders quickly voiced horror at these tactics. “Has it come to this?” said Speaker John Boehner, accusing Democrats of holding the economy hostage for the sake of high-end tax increases. Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, called it “an entirely avoidable high-stakes game of chicken with the single-minded goal of taking more money from those who earn it.” (Please click the link above to read the whole piece.)