GOP Fell Into Democrats' 'Trap' on Payroll Tax

Looked 'heartless' as Obama seized advantage: Charles Krauthammer
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2011 10:23 AM CST
Charles Krauthammer: GOP Fell Into Democrats' Trap on Payroll Tax
Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio pauses at a news conference to announce an agreement for a 2-month extension to the payroll tax cut on Capitol Hill Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Republicans really blew it in the payroll tax debate—both in terms of policy and politics, writes Charles Krauthammer. For one thing, the two-month extension simply doesn't make sense: It requires businesses to plan for "two-thirds of a one-quarter tax-holiday extension." More importantly, for Democrats, it was "the perfect campaign ploy: an election-year bribe that has the additional virtue of seizing the tax issue for the Democrats," Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post.

"The Democrats set a trap and the Republicans walked right into it," he asserts. They looked like "heartless" obstructionists by rejecting the Senate compromise—"this was absolutely the wrong place, the wrong time, to plant the flag"—and ultimately had no choice but to capitulate. In the end, Republicans looked like the Animal House marching band—marching straight into a wall. (The measure formally cleared the House this morning.)

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