So our dysfunctional Republican-run House of Representatives has abandoned (for now anyway) its opposition to a 2-month extension of the "temporary" payroll tax cut - "kicking the can," as the commentators like to say, to fight another day!
Since this is largely the same bunch that last summer seemed about to bring the U.S. to the brink of catastrophe, rather than consider raising taxes on the richest citizens, the message now seems quite clear. Taxes for the ultra-rich are bad - always. Tax-cuts for the ultra-rich are good - despite the damage done in terms of the deficit, for example, by the 2001 Bush Tax cuts. Tax-cuts for ordinary working people, however, are bad - unless the damage they do to the deficit can be compensated somehow by budget-reductions elsewhere.
As Voltaire (1694-1778) famously observed centuries ago: "The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor."