In my A Shame Republicans Let Politics Trump Economics, I bemoaned the terrible politics of “compromise” that led to the ill-conceived extension of the payroll tax cut.
Charles Krauthammer nailed this issue in recent commentary, which I heard on the radio (I cannot find it on Google). Here is the gist of what he said:
If this were a Republican administration, the Democrats and media would be screaming about a Republican plot to do away with social security. We should not allow the Obama administration to call this a tax cut. We should call it by its true name: The defunding of social security. What’s worse, we are defunding social security for short run political gain on both sides of the aisle. All economists know there will be no economic gain from such short term measures.
We have reached the strange point where Congressional Republicans are being congratulated for cooperating with the Obama administration for passing harmful legislation, both for the purpose of short-run political gain.