On the first ay of the brand new year, the House voted 257-167 to approve the Senate bill that would avoid major tax hikes and spending cuts and keep us all from falling over the so-called "fiscal cliff," which would've been a terrible way to start 2013.
The GOPers wanted to amend the Senate's bill with $330 billion in spending cuts, but they didn't have enough votes. So, led by Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan (remember him?), alas, they voted on the agreement.
And then there's our very own Charisma Boy! Marco Rubio, who decided to vote against the bill, solidifying himself as Tea Party Main Man Number One and also setting himself up for a run at the top come 2016.
Rubio joined other Tea Party favorites -- and Election Day losers -- Rep. Allen West and Rep, Connie Mack IV in voting "No" on extending the Bush tax cuts on household income under $450,000.
Rubio released a statement on his website, kind of sort of explaining his reasons:
"I appreciate all the hard work that went into avoiding the so-called 'fiscal cliff'. I especially commend Senator McConnell's efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington.
"Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they'll pay this new tax and, chances are, they'll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.
"Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won't go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can't find the work they need."
And so it goes with Tea Bag Main Man Number One and his awesomely awesome-sounding words and phrases!
RAPID ECONOMIC GROWTH! SPENDING REFORMS! AWWRIGHT!
Sounds fantastic. But Rubio doesn't get into the hows and whys those fancy words would actually work and avoid bringing back another recession. Only that raising taxes is a bad, terrible, no-good thing.
The only real answer is, of course, POLITICKS.
Rubio wants that nomination in 2016, and one way to get it is to throw a bone or two to the tea baggers who will no doubt be up in arms about the bill passing, because of DON'T TREAD ON ME! reasons.
So, do nothing, throw out a news release saying a whole lotta nothing, and call it a day.
Well played, Charisma Boy! Well played.