Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts is NOT Increasing Taxes

A couple of days back, The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray penned a front page article examining the differences in the voting records of the two perceived frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. During the course of the study, Murray takes aim at the Senators' respective votes on matters of taxes, writing:

And Obama voted to increase taxes when he opposed a package of business breaks that included the extension of middle-class provisions. Clinton voted for the tax bill -- before she voted against it, as did Obama, in the legislation's final form.

This is shoddy reporting and just plain bad writing from Murray. Back in 2001, when the bulk of these tax cuts were debated and eventually passed in Congress, Republicans repeatedly stressed the fact that the measures were temporary, both to assuage those concerned about the immense debt of the federal government and enlist the support of those who believe in short-term fiscal stimuli for economic downturns but not long-term economic redistribution through tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. Though Republicans may or may not have been able to slide these tax cuts through Congress by making them permanent rather than temporary, the fact is that they did not, in fact, sell them as permanent. As a result, calling opposition to extending temporary tax cuts support for tax increases is extremely disengenuous.

But it more than just that. It is an undue acceptance of deceitful Republican spin in covering the Democratic primaries -- a big no-no for a non-partisan reporter at a non-partisan newspaper like The Post. If this is the type of reporting and writing we are to expect from the Beltway's biggest newspaper, both in covering the race for the Democratic nomination but also the newly-minted Democratic Congress, we will certainly have our work cut out for us in ensuring that the media offers our side a fair shake. To begin, let Murray know, in the politest of terms, that you find this type of unbalanced writing unacceptable by filling out this email form. Hopefully she will get the message today so that we won't have to put up with this type of drivel in the future.

Tags: 110th congress, 2008 general, Democrats, Primaries (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Re: Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts

When did it become appropriate to call tax cuts anything other than what they reallty are, a vote to increase the federal deficit and commit future generations to overwhelming debt that will diminish American prosperity?

by Durham Democrat 2007-01-03 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts is NOT Increa

1978

by Silent sound 2007-01-03 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts is NOT Increa

God fucking damn it.

I am so fucking sick and tired of this tax issue being used the way it's been used for 30 fucking years. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

You cannot run the fucking government without money! It people want their social secuirty check, and their medicare, and their schools, and unemployment insurance, and pot holes fixed and if they people want to go on military advertues building an emprire then you have to PAY FOR IT. It doesn't pay for itself with monopoly money.

Until someone finds a way to replace money as the currency of commerce and capital then you will get TAXED to fund the fucking government.

Democrats need to stop being pussies and tell it like it is. The RICH get tax breaks while the working class gets an increase in local and state taxes because of shortfalls! These are the same fools who vote for the GOP because they think they will be millionaries one day and will get the 100K cut in his taxes--against his own interests all because he falls for religious opium.

I am so sick of this fucking country. It is beyond repair--the population is just so fucking dumb.

by need some wood 2007-01-03 02:47PM | 0 recs
What about spending "Cuts?"

Technically, if not extending temporary tax cuts is a tax "increase," then not extending temporary spending is a spending "cut."

By this logic, every temporary spending program throughout American history that no longer exists is now a cut.

So I guess if we're going to be blamed for tax increases, we should get credit for "cuts" this year for opting not to spend on World War 2, World War 1, the Civil War, the Black Hawk War, etc., etc.

Yay us for all these spending cuts!

by jhlinko 2007-01-03 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts

Not sure I buy that logic. The only way your argument works is if the pre-cut level of taxation can somehow be classified as the "natural" level.

The fact is that there is no natural level of taxation only practical levels determined by debt and those programs the public and legislators decide can best be handled through governmental means rather than private sector means.

Since Republicans (at least in theory) err on the side of private sector solutions, their natural taxation level is lower than Democratic taxation levels. This isn't to say that Republical levels are better than Democratic levels, just that for those who view private solutions as always superior to "big government" ones then  their natural level will be lower than those who are more supportive of "big government" solutions.

For those "small government" folks, the cuts in Bush's first term were the return to what they view as a more naural level which means that "not extending" those cuts is in fact a tax increase.

It's not just spin or semantics, it's an entirely different world view.

by ktoz 2007-01-03 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts is NOT Increa

Just e-mailed asking her to differentiate between "temporary" give backs.  But this whole tax cut deal in 2001 was obscene and was "bi-partisan" with Baucus being the co-chair of Finance.  "Bi partisanship is just another name for pro-multi-national corporations. What will Baucus do now that he's chair again?

by Feral Cat 2007-01-04 05:54AM | 0 recs

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