Today POLITICO Arena asks:
Was the House GOP decision to unlink deficit reduction and an extension of the payroll tax holiday a smart move, or does it undermine their deficit reduction message?
The House Republicans’ move to unlink deficit reduction and an extension of the payroll tax holiday is simply a bow to reality. They've learned from the first session of the 112th "Tea Party" Congress that any deficit reduction measures they'd make will go nowhere in the do-nothing Senate. As William McGurn details in this morning's Wall Street Journal, the Harry Reid Senate hasn't passed a budget resolution in three years and has never voted to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year—the administration's No. 1 economic priority according to Vice President Biden.
So what's the point of House Republicans conditioning an extension of the payroll tax holiday on a spending cut, only to be blamed, when the Senate balks, for wanting to raise taxes on the middle class? As long as there's a do-nothing Senate, our deficits and debt will only grow.