The harshest denunciation came from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the man who crafted the Dems' new "jobs first" message.
"We are also open to hiring incentives, perhaps in the form of a payroll tax cut for employers that was floated by the administration.... [T]hat might not be our first choice, that shows how willing we are to work with the Republicans to create jobs. It's pro-business, it's a tax cut, and many Republicans have been for it in the past. But now all of a sudden they're coming out against it," Schumer said.
John Boehner called it a gimmick, Paul Ryan called it sugar high. Lamar Alexander and Jeb Hensarling both criticized it as short-term stimulus -- apparently that's a bad thing. Would Republicans really oppose a tax cut for business that created jobs? This is sort of beyond the pale. So if they'd oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they're just opposing anything that would help create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren't trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.
In his Thursday press conference last week, Boehner called short-term stimulus in general a gimmick, while arguing that Congress should focus on spending cuts.
To this, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Boehner "said it [a deeper payroll tax cut] was only a short-term game. I mean, for heaven's sake, we need a few short-term games around here."