Recent polls showed that some 60 percent of Americans deem extension of the Bush-era tax cuts a priority. Why is that? Because they do not know the facts, and they have been scared into thinking their own taxes will go up.
DemWit worked through the night to cut through the tax-cuts BS, and this post is for liberals, progressives and conservatives alike.
A COUPLE OF FACTS
"We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college."
- President Barack Obama, State of the Union message, 27 January 2010
Recalling that moment: Democrats applauded. Republicans sat in silence. Obama turned to the Republicans, smiled and quipped, “I thought I'd get some applause on that one."
Fact: The non-partisan factcheck site Politifact examined Obama’s tax-cut claims and found them to be “true.”
Why is it that the very people who have benefited from these tax cuts don’t seem to have any idea the Obama administration and Democrats extended them?
The Republican Party wants to extend $700 billion in tax cuts to 3 percent of the wealthiest Americans – those voters George W. Bush called his “base” – while they vote against extending benefits to the unemployed. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is right to call this position “grossly unfair.”
JOURNALISTS: COUNTER LIES WITH FACTS
CNN reported this in its main article on House Democrats extending tax cuts for Americans making $250,000 a year or less:
“All 42 Senate Republicans vowed Monday to prevent a final vote on any other legislative business in the lame duck session until Congress has ‘prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.’"
That quote is a lie aimed at scaring Americans, and CNN’s reporters should have countered it with facts.
TAX CUTS FOR WEALTHY WON’T CREATE JOBS
The CNN article states, “Several economic studies have indicated that the wealthiest people - the top 3 percent who make more than $250,000 per year - are more likely to invest tax cuts in stocks or other assets than to create jobs. And, Democrats point out, many large American corporations are posting record profits without sinking that money into payroll.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner called the House Democratic vote “chicken crap” - and thus inspired this DemWit all-nighter! Boehner is apoplectic because he knows this Democratic vote will benefit all Americans - including the wealthiest 3 percent, who, after all, will get the cuts on their own income up to $250,000. The minority leader’s ticked off because the GOP’s scare tactics and threats to obstruct legislation didn’t phase the Democrats.
Taxes are essential to a strong American government. Count how many times the word appears in the Constitution. Leave it to a Texas Republican – one Rep. Jeb Hensarling – to say, "No taxes on nobody. It may be bad grammar but it's great economics."
SO, WHAT DO THE BAD OLD DEMOCRATS WANT?
In attempted negotiations with Republicans on tax-cut policy, Democrats want:
• Extension of unemployment benefits without having to find offsets to pay for them
• Extension of college tuition tax credits set to expire at the end of the year
• Extension of so-called ‘make work pay’ tax credits which expire December 31
• Tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed workers
Around 1 a.m. ET, I read that President Obama is willing to negotiate – to extend tax cuts for the wealthy in exchange for Republican support for extending unemployment benefits and “a variety of tax breaks for low-wage and middle-income workers.” (LINK)
Mr. President, you have made it clear that you want to work in a nonpartisan way to bring beneficial programs to the American people - only to be vilified by the opposition. You have stuck by your principles despite your own disgruntled base. It would be wise, sir, to be skeptical of 42 Senate Republicans who put their signatures to paper stating they won’t budge on a damn thing until you cave in to greed.
I appreciate that Washington politics is a game of give-and-take, and that’s as it should be. But, there’s nothing riding on what these yokels do, except the economic future of this country.
I want to trust that they know better than I what is best for America, but sometimes I wonder.
Above all else, dear reader, hasn’t it become clear by now which American political party has the well-being of lower- and middle-class Americans at heart?