Kyl: No START Vote Until Tax Deal

December 1st, 2010 at 4:32 pm | 15 Comments |

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The Hill reports:

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday that President Obama must reach a deal on extending the Bush tax cuts by Monday if a nuclear arms treaty has a chance of passing the Senate by the end of the year.

“The deal on taxes has to be done very early next week, like Monday,” Kyl said.

Kyl said if negotiators don’t reach a deal on the Bush taxes within a week “then you’re not going to have time to do START,” making a reference to the pending Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia. The Senate must ratify it with a two-thirds vote of the chamber.

The emerging conventional wisdom has been that Senate Republicans would agree to ratify START if Obama and Democratic leaders agreed to a temporary extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

This legislative horse trade might not be possible because of the highly politicized debate surrounding the tax rates and the little time left in the lame-duck session.

“If the taxes all can’t be resolved and voted on and completed and spending for the government for the next 10 months completed by, like, next Monday, I don’t know how there’s enough time to complete START,” Kyl said.

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15 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    So what we have to look forward to over the next 2 years is the GOP making sure that government will do nothing unless more money is channeled to the wealthiest Americans?

    I guess that some at the top will definitely get a worthwhile return on their 2010 campaign investments.

  • Rabiner

    Well at least he’s being honest now about his interests. Nuclear treaties are trumped by tax cuts.

  • silentjihad

    I think the compromise that comes out of this should be to completely eliminate taxes for those with incomes higher than $250,000 and raise the effective rate for those who make less than $250,000 to 95%. I haven’t done the math yet, but this would probably solve the deficit problem as well.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    silentjihad: do you think part of any tax compromise might include an extension of federal unemployment benefits?

    In normal times, when the economy is at or near full employment, the argument made by Robert Barro and others– that unemployment insurance essentially subsidizes laziness by depriving the unemployed of disincentives against laziness– holds water, at least with me.

    But in the present circumstances, when four people are competing for every one job available, not extending benefits is insane. It is both cruel with respect to the unemployed, and it could be disastrous for GDP– especially during the holiday season, when a decline in consumer spending could do serious further harm to the economy. Not extending benefits could even entail more lay-offs by businesses hurt by a subsequent drop in consumer spending by people who’ve lost their benefits. By all means, congressional republicans and democrats should make cuts elsewhere in the budget to pay for another extension, or perhaps even use unspent TARP money, to get an extension passed. How about a one year extension plus a three years extension of all the Bush tax cuts? It doesn’t mean the U.S. won’t need to do a long term debt reduction programme– it would be plainly silly and a denial of reality to argue otherwise– but austerity measures during 10% unemployment and 2.5% economic growth are totally out of place.

    Will Senator Kill, er, uh, I mean KYL, accept a tax deal that includes an umeployment insurance extension? Or is he such a nihilist that he’ll only accept a tax deal predicated on a programme of pure sociopathic greed and social darwinism?

  • balconesfault

    How about a one year extension plus a three years extension of all the Bush tax cuts?

    Here’s what I don’t get – why force linkage to tax cuts at all?

    You’re acknowledging that the unemployment extension is both humane and economically necessary.

    The extension of the Bush tax cuts on higher end wage earners is neither. It’s simply rewarding a constituency.

    In other words, as I said at first – this is all about making sure those at the top will get a worthwhile return on their 2010 campaign investments on the GOP.

  • politicalfan

    WaStateUrbanGOPer-
    I would agree to the “greed” part.

    If Bush tax cuts created a ton of jobs, why did the President walk into a financial mess?
    Where is the logic of job creation that has been created from the Bush tax cuts?

  • dante

    “Reach agreement” equals “cowtow to GOP demands.

    Cute.

    Obama should start off the negotiating by stating the position that ALL tax cuts expire. Maybe then then can compromise on continuing tax cuts only for the middle class.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    balconesfault and politicalfan: I’m not totally positive that renewing the Bush tax cuts would be economically beneficient, although it might be. But what I am (nearly) certain about is that such a renewal might be the only compromise acceptable to those who want to cut off emergency unemployment benefits.

    Let me freely admit: this is a very serious matter of self-interest to me. I’m on my 18th week of unemployment benefits, hunting high and low for reasonable employment, and absolutely. Effing. Terrified. From my own current and very stunted economic worldview, nearly any compromise on federal unemployment benefits would be acceptable.

    (Oh, and politicalfan: once again, I’m totally sorry about that illiterate swipe I took at you yesterday. It’s an incontrovertable fact that your comments in no way deserved the sort of response I gave them. I’ll heretofore be a way more (in Thoreau’s words) “deliberate and reserved” reader of the comments on FF, and I’ll save my invective for more deserving targets– tea baggers, fundamentalists and other such vermin. Thanks for taking it in stride, and try to keep in mind that I’m writing to you from the coffee capital of the world, metro Washington state, and thus my brain is often addled by excess caffeine intake. Once more, with feeling: THANKS FOR BEING A HOMIE!)

  • politicalfan

    WaStateUrbanGOPer-
    No problem, if I was perfect I might of had a problem!
    BTW- try Peets coffee-Columbian! I have a tab bit of a coffee problem.

    I think Bush tax cuts are a joke! Sorry, I just do. (Maybe consider under $500,000 or 1 million but how do we pay for them.)
    “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” Thoreau

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    politicalfan: I can only find Peets pre-ground. I have a small apartment and hence no room for a conventional coffee pot. French press only, I’m afraid. The pre-ground stuff isn’t coarse enough for my press. But I do love Peet’s mocha-java.

    Total agreement to the Thoreau quote. We could all do without a few of our cherished “creature” comforts.

  • busboy33

    Reducing nuclear stockpiles, and as a result reducing the threat of rogue nations or terrorists getting access to nukes, versus making sure the richest Americans save more money.

    I guess we know which is more important to the GOP.

  • Truthfairy

    Why is Kyl risking national security & pissing off Prime Minister Putin (who called GOP move “dumb” today!)? In addition to complying with Mitch McConnell on #1 GOP priority to disable the Obama presidency…Kyl is holding START hostage over extending tax cuts for 2% of Americans, the richest Americans who absolutely don’t need them.

    Like the Top 0.1% – 141,071 Americans with average annual incomes of $7.4 million, currently receiving a $502,000 annual tax cut , courtesy of GOP/Bush. A nifty $4.5 million gift thru 2010. For them, Kyl & GOP have been chanting absurd message hypocrisy about how “tax cuts for all” is looking after “the American people” and “taxes should never be increased during a recession” or “the cuts are needed to create jobs & stimulate the economy”. But the tax cuts were implemented from 2001 thru 2010, during which time GOP/Bush had the worst job creation record (0.2% annually, net 3 million jobs overall) & slowest economic growth (1.2% annually) in 75 years!

    Yet to ensure their delivery, Kyl has pouted, shouted, bullied, demanded, threatened and now42 GOP Senators went as far as signing a letter fervently stipulating the importance of these tax cuts & their intent to filibuster ALL on the Senate floor and cripple Congress until Democrats & the President do what they want. Meanwhile, leading economists have written Congress to decry the fiscal abomination of huge tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires. All the time, the world looks on, wondering out loud why Americans let such irresponsible GOP take the House.

    There’s only one possible explanation for GOP’s uncompromising obsession & thuggery. In an election quid pro quo, GOP must have promised wealthy Americans (including many of the Wall St bankers, special interests and corporate fat cat CEOs who provoked US financial collapse & unemployment tsunami) to maintain the generous tax subsidies in return for their ‘support’ in November.

    Now it’s time to pay the IOU’s, at whatever cost to the US Treasury, the Deficit or the American people. It doesn’t make sense otherwise.

  • pnumi2

    WaState

    “balconesfault and politicalfan: I’m not totally positive that renewing the Bush tax cuts would be economically beneficient, although it might be. But what I am (nearly) certain about is that such a renewal might be the only compromise acceptable to those who want to cut off emergency unemployment benefits.”

    You’re absolutely correct in saying that. But what you neglect to say is that this isn’t a compromise. It’s a threat. It’s blackmail.

    Comparing the needs of those relying on unemployment with the frivolous and selfish demands of those making over $250,000 is beyond contempt.

    The terrible irony is that you have UrbanGOPer in your name and your party is going to let you hang out to dry. Your story is just one of millions we’re going to start hearing pretty soon.

  • pnumi2

    Truthfairy

    How, pray tell, do you pay a $14 Trillion I.O.U? With a shrinking economy? And $400 Billion in annual interest payments?

    The “Deficits Don’t Matter” Republicans ran our economy into a ditch and how are we going to get out without printing another $16 Trillion in cash money. (That includes an extra $2 Trillion for tip and tax.)

  • andydp

    Kindly remind Senator Kyl if he does not compromise, the tax cuts expire for everyone. We can re negotiate START later. If history is any guide, the Russians are ready to exploit the gap in treaty coverage the second it expires.

    The Obama administration should be holding this Sword of Damocles over the GOP heads.