President Obama continues to stump the country testing out his populist ideas to raise taxes without it appearing that way. The popular idea at the moment is to convince Americans he’ll rescind the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts only on the “wealthiest” 2% of American taxpayers.
Since his track record with voter promises is dubious, many of the party faithful are apprehensive of their ‘welcome home’ reception during campaigning this fall. Most credible polls show it is abundantly clear many presumed voters this November believe Obama will renege on his tax ideas after the election.
It’s important to understand this tax question hangs over many lawmaker’s heads like a hangman’s noose. Will it be just the 2% “wealthiest.” or no extension at all? They are well aware their districts and states want an answer now.
If the Bush tax cuts of 2001 & 2003 are not extended, a family of four earning $50,000 can expect to pay $2,900 more per year. The same family earning $100,000 will see a $4,500 rise. This takes into account typical deductions, capital gains, etc.
This ominous rise in taxes in not something that recently appeared on Democrat’s radar scope. As they have been condemning former President Bush for everything wrong with this country including the kitchen sink, rescinding these cuts would be political suicide for their re-election prospects.
In other words, they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t from one side or the other. The question is, which side will Obama go with – The left-leaning liberals or the Bush tax cut enthusiasts? The former means a far smaller base of support while the later is an admission that Bush was right all along.
The bottom line is Obama has to announce his overall plan before the election or face more defections by his own party from White House influence this campaign season.
Those very tax cuts have provided a reduced marginal income tax rate at every level. They also provide a wide range of tax breaks for families with children, education and married couples. Taxes on capital gains and dividends were reduced, while the federal estate tax was gradually repealed, though only for this year.
President Obama’s present idea is to extend tax cuts to individuals making less than $200,000 a year and joint filers making under $250,000 in adjusted gross income. That’s income from wages, capital gains and dividends, before standard deductions and exemptions are subtracted. Hardly the corporate giants his White House spin doctors want Americans to visualize.
Coming to Obama’s defense (as he hedges on any decision before the November election) is none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – her national credibility at an ebb low following her enthusiastic backing of the now vilified Obamacare “reform” bill. She has announced she “wouldn’t commit to vote on any tax proposals before the election.” She added that she would “address them before the end of the year.”
Not the rock hard policy skeptical Obama supporters are looking for. Does that mean they will propose the 2% plan to Congress or simply let all the tax cuts expire? Telling Americans their final plan after the election is as cowardly as Dorothy’s lion friend.
But this double-talk is nothing new to an electorate now 20 months into the Obama administration. The fuel to drive their new economic ideology (re-distribution of the wealth) is predicated on more federal tax money. That means higher taxes. Increasing them only on 2% of the “wealthiest” Americans is a drop in the bucket for their overall spending spree.
On Thursday, House Republican Leader John Boehner (the White House’s latest target for the blame game) requested an up or down vote in Congress for extending all tax cuts, period. That means before the election. “Raising taxes on anyone, especially small businesses, is the wrong thing to do in a struggling economy,” Boehner said. “On the issue of job killing tax hikes, the American people are not going to accept anything less than the vote they deserve.”
Pelosi was quick to respond with a promise as full of holes as Swiss cheese. “The only thing I can tell you is that the tax cuts for the middle class will be extended this Congress.”
There’s one major problem with that statement: “This Congress” will still be in power for two months after the election and vote with relatively zero accountability in that time frame. You can’t get any slimier with a statement than that.
The real interpretation of that statement is:
We will await the decision of the American people in this election. Based on the amount of damage they incur on our Democratic majority in both Houses, we will decide the country’s tax fate during the “lame duck” period. Ousted party members will be able to exact their own form of revenge unheeded by voter angst.
In other words to the American taxpayer, ‘like it or lump it.’
Nebulous words to saddle up to if you are a vulnerable Democrat. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sidestep the issue even with a mostly compliant media in your corner. The voters are not interested in discussing former President Bush or the tiresome tea party hate-fest.
Taxes, unemployment and the recession. That’s what’s critical to voter decisions. It creates a dilemma for the party faithful and an electorate already burning from unfulfilled Obama promises.
The electorate need gaze no further than the once acclaimed Obamacare “reform” bill and the growing movement to repeal itthat is now 20 states strong.
“I see no justification for going into debt to foreign countries to underwrite and subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America,” Pelosi said.
America has spent a year of valuable time wrangling over an inopportune health care bill she once glowingly endorsed It has resulted in the largest entitlement program in American history
Is their any sane American taxpayer who still believes this speaker or president with the 20 month track record of record of deficits and rampant unemployment they have compiled?
It’s time to show a firm commitment to policy that projects some semblance of leadership rather than false political promises before the Democrat’s moment of truth this November 2nd.
It’s the right thing to do for all Americans. But does the Democratic leadership have the spine left to stand and deliver?
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