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GOP finally caves on extending payroll tax cut. But why?

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The GOP has finally thrown in the towel after several months of trying to explain why letting tax cuts expire for the 1% represents a 'tax increase,' but letting the payroll tax cuts for the 99% expire is 'necessary for balancing the budget.'

U.S. House Republicans offered to drop their demand to finance a 10-month payroll tax cut extension with spending reductions and may vote on the plan this week if they don’t reach a broader agreement with Democrats.

The Republican proposal, which would add $94 billion to the budget deficit, reflects the desire to avoid blame for an impasse, as when a breakdown in talks almost caused the tax break to expire Dec. 31, said a Republican leadership aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. Democrats have sought an income surtax for people earning more than $1 million a year. Republicans are trying to defuse the tax issue, the aide said.
Since President Obama took office, the GOP has been clear that their number one priority is to stop him from being re-elected, and they were quite prepared to sabotage any effort to promote an economic recovery if necessary. That plan doesn't look so smart now that the unemployment rate is showing steady improvement and the GOP presidential nomination has come down to a choice between two unelectable religious right clowns, and an equally unelectable Mormon bishop.

If I were a GOP House member (or Senator), I would be less worried about what the Republican leadership wants, and more worried about the voters (especially Independents) come November.  The Collins/Snowe break with the party line over contraception may have been the beginning of the rats leaving the ship.

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