Thank the women of Egypt
by Mark Riley
posted Dec 22 2011 1:36PM
So, the House Republicans who two weeks ago didn't want to extend a payroll tax cut now want a one year extension or nothing. Who do they think they're kidding? They don't want an extension at all, unless it's attached to so many noxious riders and amendments that no Democrat will support it. It's political brinkmanship that theatens the economic well being of millions of Americans.
While it's the true the payroll tax cut is a relatively small amount, about $1500 a year for most taxpayers, the extension of unemployment benefits that would have come with it had much higher stakes. The Tea Party Republicans who voted no to a two month extension know this, and wanted to make it more difficult to get those same benefits.
Why, you might ask? Getting rid of Barack Obama is only part of the answer. The other is a direct result of the disconnect between these lawmakers and the rest of America. They simply don't "get it" that millions of people across this country are hurting. What else to explain trying to attach everything from an oil pipeline to family planning funding for DC to travel restrictions for Cuban Americans trying to visit Cuba? Fact is, these jackals (and I'm being charitable) are willing to make themselves and their leader John Boehner look like fools to satisfy the greed and avarice of a very small group of people.
The question then is, what to do about all this? It may sound crazy, but maybe the answer is on the continent of Africa, namely, Egypt. There, 10,000 women took to the street to protest brutality on the part of the military. What does this have to do with a payroll tax cut, you ask? Plenty, if you consider that Egyptian society has a patriarchal base, and has for centuries. The women there stood as one, and made the world take notice.
Perhaps it's time for a similar show of strength here in the US. Yes, we've had the Occupy Movement, but there's been a conscious effort to marginalize them recently. This is about more than extending the payroll tax cut, or extending unemployment benefits. It's about what kind of America want for ourselves, and those we bring into the world.
We owe it to ourselves, and to them.
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