The Minority Republican Senators (minority now and minority in January too) will be the winners of the Great Tax Race of 2010. As everyone knows (who reads), the Bush tax cuts expire on New Years Eve as we all watch the ball drop. No matter what the Democrats do, or threaten to do, they have to make a Deal pleasing to Mitch McConnell (who is the tortoise in this race to the wire) or No Deal and taxes will rise for everybody. And according to everybody, that must not happen.
When the race started on Saturday, The Hare (Harry Reid) started off with a daring sprint by calling for the race to start on the weekend. Two quick show votes went nowhere, of course, with the Tortoise in his armor-plated shell intoning the Tortoise mantra, "No one should have to pay higher taxes in a tough economy." Score one for the Tortoise. The Hare sputtered.
Starting Monday the race continues, with the Hare proposing more options and the Tortoise saying no to them all. Why? Because he doesn't have to do a thing! All the Tortoise has to do is plod along and wait for the Hare to tire from trying one tactic after another to no avail. Victory will come when the Hare understands that he can't win until he agrees to accept the Tortoise's terms.
And what will they be? Simple. Extend Bush rates for everybody. The Tortoise wins, the Hare loses and, by the way, so do we. Debt reduction fails. The rich keep their money. Trickle down theory dies again. Of course the Tortoise wants further tax reductions for the rich, but that's just empty turtle talk.
The final vote will probably look something like this: The Hare vote will fracture, with some angered members standing firm, while the rest vote with enough Tortoises to reach 60, which is the new majority for the rest of this century and perhaps into the next, if there is a next.
With the race over the tortoise will retire into its shell, not to enter a race again until 2012 when Momma Grisly makes her move. And if that happens he might think its time to stick his neck out and say, "Enough! Enough!" But by then nobody will be listening. The world is supposed to come to an end then anyway, so the Mayans tell us.
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