Read My Lips: No New Tax Cuts

Yesterday, the House rejected a Senate compromise bill on the payroll tax cut, which is set to expire January 1. In all likelihood, this means that taxes will rise—an average of $40 per paycheck, according to the latest White House press blitz—unless House Speaker John Boehner shores up enough support to pass a two-month extension or brokers a new deal. Although Obama hasn't left Washington for vacation in Hawaii yet, he isn't getting too involved in the imbroglio, having learned the danger of using the bully pulpit with his jobs plan—for Republicans, whose sole aim seems to be to frustrate the president's agenda, any endorsement from Obama amounts to a kiss of death.

 
“It’s like déjà vu all over again. It’s like ‘Groundhog Day,’” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), referring to the 112th Congress’ propensity for stalemate. Waxman is right, but this time it's a bit different. Previous congressional battles over the stimulus, health care, and the jobs plan were rooted in electoral concerns—the parties disagreed based on what they knew their districts wanted—but it is hard to argue that any voter would begrudge a tax-cut extension. This time, the Tea Party wing of the Republican party is being intransigent for its own sake.
 

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CHART OF THE DAY

 
Next year will be the first in which emerging markets will import more goods and services than developed economies, a dramatic shift given that emerging economies imported half as much as developed economies in 2000.
 

REASON TO GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING

The One Percent Foundation is stealing the "one percent" brand from the wealthiest Americans and using it to persuade young people to become philanthropic at an earlier age. The micro-charity asks members to pledge one percent of their income every year, and has grown from 20 to 300 participants since 2007.
 
GOOD

 

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