Just past 2 a.m., after only about 10 minutes of debate, it passed 89-8. At least 60 votes were needed to send it to the House.
“Each of us could spend the rest of the week discussing what a perfect solution would have looked like, but the end result would have been the largest tax increase in American history,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the vote. “…So it took an imperfect solution to prevent our constituents from very real financial pain. But in my view, it was worth the effort.”
The “no” votes were from Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Conservatives are pretty pissed at the GOP but I don’t really understand why. Taxes were going to increase on the wealthy in 2013 no matter what happened. The Republicans had no ability whatsoever to stop it. This is actually a step back from what Obama was demanding last weekend.
Does it suck to be engaging in fiscal policies that will have a negative effect on the aggregate economy for no reason other than the serve the class warfare passions of the left? Of course. There is no tax solution to the fiscal disaster that is gathering in Washington. To pretend otherwise is to engage in petty attacks on the “other” for political advantage. The call for tax increases is nothing more than demagoguery. Obama is pandering to the thoughtless to build his own political fortunes. It is sickening.
But to pretend the Republican Party had any ability whatsoever to stop tax increases on the wealthy is to engage in fantasy. The reelection of Obama combined with the automatic increases in 2013 took meant that taxes were going to increase on those who made too much money no matter what.
It looks to me like the GOP made the best of a no-win situation. The wealthy already pay the vast majority of the taxes in America. Now they will pay more. That is the nature of class warfare and the demonization of “the other”. That is the nature of the Democratic Party.