The politics surrounding tax cuts continue to offer cute catchphrases, but the growing divide between Democrats and Republicans is getting tiresome.
We chuckle when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says "Our friends on the other side are practicing what could be best described as 'Thelma & Louise' economics." And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's tough talking quotes like "Democrats will simply never agree we should hand out more tax breaks to the richest 2 percent of Americans while this economy is in the position it's in now" sound good, but really just repeat things we've heard before.
It's easy to be overwhelmed by the numbers inside the details of the tax cut debate. If the two sides can't reach agreement, $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts for 2013 would be triggered automatically in January. Democrats support tax cuts for everyone except individuals making at least $200,000 yearly or couples earning more than $250,000, which would mean higher taxes for 2 percent of households. Republicans want to renew the current top tax rate of 35 percent, exempting the first $5.12 million.
Leaders of both parties say they're dug in, won't back down and will never support the other side's position.
But the political grandstanding and threats of a continued stalemate are all disheartening, exasperating and not unexpected. At some point, likely at the last minute, final agreement will be hammered out, both sides will claim victory and everyone in Congress will be happy.
But will the rest of us be as happy?