Democrats Betting on Gridlock

Steny Hoyer is leading the charge among Democrat Senators to put the brakes on an extension of the 2% payroll tax cut.  After nearly a month of blaming Republicans for the delay in passing the extension and parading around middle class Obama supporters saying how much $40 will change their lives, now Democrats in the Senate look likely to be the ones who kill this extension.

Why are Democrats defecting after a deal had been worked out?  Because the current payroll extension bill makes new federal employees contribute 3.1% to their own pensions.  Apparently we should share sacrifice and have skin in the game unless you are a federal employee.  Currently they contribute .8%.  The government picks up the rest of the tab and returns on the pension are guaranteed.

Meanwhile, many middle class Americans contribute anywhere from 3-10% to their 401k plans with no guaranteed returns and a maximum 3% matching contribution from their employers.  However, Democrats have characterized the plan to increase federal employee pension withholding as a budget war on federal employees.

Democrats appear to have figured out that they are succeeding in blaming congressional gridlock on Republicans.  It also appears that their strategy is to maximize gridlock even if it hurts the middle class.  But if Americans figure out why Democrats are holding up this tax cut extension, sentiment could turn pretty quick.  Democrats are betting against the intelligence of American voters.

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