Okay House Republicans, you won.
And your first big decision is upon you: what to do about the Bush tax cuts.
Let me make a suggestion. By all means, hold out for big tax cuts. Three trillion dollars and more, over the next decade. That is what Republicans stand for, and that is what most of you campaigned for.
But ditch the “Bush” formula. Give us tax cuts that will actually create jobs.
Jobs are what Americans want from you, not giveaways to billionaires. You could cut payroll taxes. Give us R&D and investment credits. Chop the tax bills for small businesses that hire.
Use your imagination. Juice that big American economic engine. In these hard times, don’t waste $700 billion on a tax break for folks that don’t need it, who will only salt it away like Scrooge McDuck, or buy a villa in the south of France.
Innovate. Surprise us. No one will fault you. The Tea Party folks have no love for George W. Bush, the bailer-out of big Wall Street banks.
And besides, the Bush tax cuts were the result of a bipartisan compromise back in 2001--they have Democratic fingerprints all over them. Even Barack Obama has embraced them, all but the money for the richest 2 percent of Americans.
Sure, you can get into a big public battle defending that 2 percent--the poor hurtin’ billionaires, the corporate lawyers, wealthy celebrities, Wall Street traders, rich docs, and overpaid business execs. You can keep making the argument about “S” corporations, and insist against the evidence that the old Bush formula is the best way to boost employment.
It isn’t so--your own CBO says so. Common sense screams so. You know it, and so do your constituents. They supported the Bush cuts on the very rich for the same reason you did--because Obama and the Democrats opposed them. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
But you won on Tuesday. Sniff the coffee. Savor the day. Walk out in the sunshine. You don’t have to defend a bad, decades-old policy: That is what Obama is counting on.
It’s a new day. Be heroes. Give us jobs.