Tax "Deal or No Deal" Ordeal
The details of President Obama’s tax “deal” were announced on Monday, and five days later Democrats are still strengthening their opposition. Viewed by many as a blackmail payment to Republicans who have held hostage any legislation to help hurting Americans until tax cuts for the top 2% were extended, Democrats from coast to coast are angry and active.
Opposition in the House is being led by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) who, with Rep Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) help, has managed to coalesce the Democratic Caucus and intends to block the President’s proposal from reaching the floor. Meanwhile, the torch in the Senate is presently being carried by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who stood up today and independently filibustered against the bill for more than 8 hours.
Analysis of the bill reveals that not only will huge income tax benefits be extended to the top 2%, but an even more expensive estate tax gift will be given to the top one-tenth of 1%. In exchange, unemployment benefits that have historically always been granted when unemployment is above 7.2% will be extended, the bottom 98% of Americans will get the tax cuts the Republicans have held hostage, certain income tax credits will be extended, and there will be a one-year 2% rate reduction for Social Security withholding.
Overall, Obama’s back-room deal is sweet indeed for the wealthy and sweeter still the more wealthy one is. It does also give tax relief for the middle class, but according to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) it will actually increase taxes on individuals making less than $20,000 or household making less than $40,000.
But in spite of the dire state of the economy, the immensity of the deficit and the plight of the middle class, Democratic opposition is not unanimous. Such Democratic stalwarts as Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania have come out supporting approval of the proposal. And today, former President, Bill Clinton signed on to the list. To the person, these respected Democratic leaders assert that this is the best deal the democrats can get.
Sadly, it seems that President Obama, Governor Rendell, President Clinton and other Democrats who share their position are all completely missing the point. The situation we have in America right now is the result of decades of precisely the type of thinking these leaders espouse. It’s essentially business as usual deal making, and it gets us exactly NOWHERE. It’s the type of thinking that continues to build the bow wave that will soon wash across America again and take with it all but the wealthy who can weather the storm.Continued on the next page