Ed Driscoll

Paying the Cost to Screw the Boss

“In tax defeat, Dems pay the price for old tricks,” Byron York writes:

You may remember that during the health care debate, when Democrats, having lost their 60th vote in the Senate with the election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, decided to put the final touches on national health care by using the arcane process of reconciliation. That allowed them to pass parts of the bill with a simple majority, 51 votes, rather than the 60 votes required to overcome a GOP filibuster.Republicans cried foul, arguing that reconciliation wasn’t appropriate for such a far-reaching measure. But Democrats pointed out that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 — very significant pieces of legislation — were passed using reconciliation. In the end, Democrats got what they wanted.

Fast forward to this week. Those Bush cuts are expiring, and Democrats, still the majority party, wanted to extend them for everybody except individuals who make more than $200,000 a year and couples who make more than $250,000. Republicans, who have just 42 votes, wanted to extend all the cuts for all income levels. On Saturday, Democrats were unable to beat a Republican filibuster, and their version of tax cut extension went down to defeat.

So why not try reconciliation? If it was used to pass the Bush cuts in the first place, couldn’t it have been used to extend them? That way, Democrats, who have 58 votes, could have passed their bill with just 51 and would not have had to worry about a GOP filibuster. Taxes on the “rich” would go up, and progressives everywhere would be celebrating today.

Alas, it didn’t happen. And, although the details are complicated, the Democrats have only themselves to blame.

Read the whole thing. Of course, it’s worth remembering that there also still plenty of liberal RINOs as well. At Glenn Beck’s The Blaze Website, Meredith Jessup asks, “Is Fred Upton Walking Back His Support for Light Bulb Ban?”

More: At Power Line, “Upton update — House Republicans signal lack of commitment to conservatism.”