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GOP Payroll-Tax Seppuku

The GOP’s desire to lose its House majority and re-elect President Obama is quite a thing to behold. After getting whupped in December over their reluctance to extend the payroll tax cut, Republican extremists in the House are once again holding it up with partisan demands (for instance, to cut unemployment insurance). They insist that the measure pay for itself but won’t allow any offsetting tax increase, even (perhaps especially) on incomes above $1 million. My guess is that both parties will eventually work out a deal that includes extending a freeze on federal pay and perhaps higher Medicare premiums for more affluent senior citizens—the Democrats are balking at these items for the moment—but I’m amazed that Republicans are imposing any conditions at all. “Please may I extend the payroll-tax cut” is what they’d be saying if they had any political sense at all. As Marsellus Wallace would tell them, “Pride only hurts. It never helps.”