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Scapegoat Politics

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we have heard a lot from our friends on the other side this week about the middle class, and that is because their policies have been so ineffective in helping the middle class.

They are trying to distract the American people from their record. It is that simple. This is what those in power often do when their policies don't work. They search for a target, and the targets Democrats have decided on are Republicans and small business owners, our Nation's leading job creators, which is, of course, ridiculous.

All of this finger-pointing is doing nothing to create jobs. It is a total waste of time.

This morning, we learned unemployment is now at 9.8 percent, even higher than last month, and Democrats are responding with a vote to slam job creators with a massive tax increase.

Millions of out-of-work Americans don't want show-votes or finger-pointing contests. They want jobs.

Americans don't want to see meaningless theatrics in Congress. They want us to do something about the economy. The single best thing we can do is to tell small businesses across the country they are not going to get a tax hike next month.

These are the folks that create the jobs that every one of us claims is our first priority. Why in the world would we do something that makes them less likely to create those jobs?

Our friends on the other side know all this just as well as Republicans do, but for some reason their base is demanding that they raise taxes on small business owners.

It is the perfect way to punctuate their 2-year experiment in antibusiness, big-government policies that have only led to more joblessness, more debt, and more uncertainty.

Over the past several weeks, we have seen a growing number of Democrats begin to publicly disagree with their own leadership on the wisdom of scapegoat politics in a time of recession.

We saw this in a vivid way yesterday, when so many Democrats in the House defected from their leadership on the show-vote Speaker Pelosi held over there.

And we have seen it here in the Senate, where a number of Democrats have told their constituents that, no, of course they won't raise taxes in the middle of a recession.

They know as well as Republicans do that raising taxes--on anybody--is counterproductive in a fragile economy like ours. And they have said so.

One of our Democrat colleagues even went on "Good Morning America'' and said he would extend the current rates "for everyone.'' So we fully expect these Democrats to keep their word and vote against proposals that do anything less.

These votes are a purely political exercise at a time when Americans are looking for action.

And here is all the proof we need: The author of the plan to raise taxes on anybody who earns more than a million dollars a year has openly admitted that the only rationale for that figure is that it sounds better--that it is the best way to send a message that Republicans are bad.

How about forgetting who looks good and who looks bad and start thinking of what is good and what is bad for working Americans?

These votes are an affront to millions of people struggling to find work.

What these votes say is that Democrats care more about doing harm to their political adversaries than doing good for middle class Americans struggling to find a job.

We don't help the middle class by punishing job creators; we hurt them.

We make it harder for them to find jobs. We make it harder to revive the economy.

We have now had more consecutive months of 9 percent unemployment than at any time since the Great Depression. And Democrats would rather play games than do something about it.

It should go without saying that Americans have had enough of this.

It is time to get serious. It is time to put the needs of middle class Americans above the needs of the liberal base that is demanding a show here in Congress. And that is all that this is--a show.

The left-wing might find it all very entertaining, but most Americans don't find it amusing at all. They don't want games; they want action. It is long past time we took them seriously.


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