The Democratic argument for approving the rancid “compromise” reached between President Obama and his GOP “hostage-takers,” which would extend the outrageous Bush tax-cuts for another two years and allow individuals to pass on, tax-free to heirs, up to $5 million, $10 million for married couples), is that members of Congress cannot afford to allow taxpayers to see more taken out of their paychecks come Jan. 1, 2011, when the Bush tax cuts currently expire, and cannot allow the long-term unemployed to lose their unemployment compensation extended benefit checks, which are set to expire too on that date.
This assumes that Americans are too stupid to realize that it is the Republicans’ insistence on extending the tax cuts for the obscenely rich that is preventing Congress from simply extending the cuts for the middle class, limiting the inheritance tax exemption, and passing an extension of the unemployment extended benefits program.
How much savvy does that really take though? Polls show that a majority of Americans thinks that the tax cuts should be ended for the wealthy, who after all, have only been getting richer these past few years while the rest of us have gotten poorer, and that wealthy estates should be taxed heavily. Polls also show that a majority of Americans say that unemployment is the biggest problem facing America today.
According to a new Bloomberg National Poll, just published Dec. 9, only one-third of Americans support extending the tax break for the wealthy. Interestingly, a quarter of Americans actually want all the tax cuts to expire.
Clearly we Americans don’t want the rich to keep skating on their taxes.
So how hard would it be for Democrats to simply refuse to cave to this Republican tactic of “all or nothing” on extending the tax cut two more years, and to then go to voters and tell them straight that if they want to have their own taxes stay low, and if they want the long-term unemployed to continue to receive unemployment checks, they need to lean on their representatives to stop stonewalling to protect the rich?
We all would get that. And it would turn the issue around completely, from blaming the Democrats for raising taxes to blaming the Republicans for the failure to preserve the middle-class tax break and for stiffing the unemployed.
Since most of us want the rich to pay more, and most of us sympathize with those who’ve lost their jobs in this recession, eventually Republicans would have to cave or face disaster in 2012.
What the Democrats’ failure to do this tells us is that they, or at least the president and a large number of Democrats in Congress, don’t really want to raise taxes on the rich. They are only pretending that is an issue for them.
Either that, or you’d have to conclude that they are just dumb jackasses. How could it possibly be smart politics for Democrats to extend tax cuts for the rich now, as if in two years, when the issue comes up again, they’d have a better chance at ending the cuts and raising taxes on the wealthy? After this session of Congress, there will be fewer Democrats in the Senate, and the Republicans will control the House! It’s really now or never, because odds are in 2012, the way things are going, there will be even more Republicans in the House, and they may even retake control of the Senate and the White House.
Or alternatively, you’d have to conclude that the Democrats just think we’re all so stupid that we wouldn’t understand, if they refused to extend the current tax cuts, that the reason we take a hit on our paychecks after Jan. 1, and the reason the long-term unemployed are being ignored, is because Republicans insisted on protecting the tax breaks for the rich, not because Democrats don’t care about our plight.