This has to take the partisan cake. The Bush administration had the audacity to kill (well, have their henchmen do it) a proposed bill which would have extended the more popular tax cuts because, shocker, the moderate Republicans and Democrats wanted to attach spending cuts to it, and Democrats were fine with it going through. The New York Times has the full story in White House Helps Block Extension of Tax Cuts:
The White House helped to block a Republican-brokered deal on Wednesday to extend several middle-class tax cuts, fearful of a bill that could draw Democratic votes and dilute a Republican campaign theme, Republican negotiators said.
Claire Buchan, a White House spokeswoman, said the administration was still trying to negotiate. But Republican Congressional officials said the administration did not want a deal that Democratic lawmakers might support, giving them a tax-cutting credential, too.
It’s more than a tad short-sighted to be killing bills that are this benefecial to the nation simply because they wouldn’t be able to use the political wedge to make Democrats look bad later on. It’s painfully obvious that the priorities are in the wrong place.