Ezra Klein has some nice things to say about the economic plan laid out today by Republican and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Now, on the merits of Daniel’s plan, I’m firmly in Jonathan Chait’s camp: The plan is a joke, and Klein is twisting himself into intellectual pretzels in an attempt to say something nice and nonpartisan about some Republican, somewhere.
But Klein also nails Daniels for suggesting the Obama Administration is unwilling to cooperate with any aspect of Daniel’s plan, especially a payroll tax holiday, when in fact the White House has been making friendly noises about precisely such a move for a while now.
But the really good part is when Klein lets this tidbit slip at the end:
From my reporting, the problem wouldn’t be in the White House. It would be in Congress. I’ve asked a number of Republican offices whether they’d be willing to work with the Democrats on a payroll-tax holiday. Without fail, they’ve told me no, that they no longer support a payroll-tax holiday given the size of the deficit.
So, just to recap: Congressional Republicans are so concerned over the mounting deficit that they’re unwilling to countenance a temporary payroll-tax cut, even though such a cut would be a significant relief to millions of lower income and working class Americans. But by God, the Republicans will demand that we make permanent a package of tax cuts that will overwhelmingly go to benefit the wealthy, and send the U.S. budget careening further into the red. Un-fucking-believable.
UPDATE – Kevin Drum hits on the same point. Great minds think alike, I guess.