Play Hardball with the Tax Cuts

Editors of The Nation propose an Agenda for the Lame-Duck Congress. suggesting a little hardball over extension of the Bush Tax Cuts.

Democrats should take the moment to argue for letting the Bush tax cuts expire and using the new revenue to maintain federal, state and local services in tough economic times...If compromise is necessary, the only credible one is giving relief to working families--not billionaires. The American people will get the point if Democrats make it aggressively and without apology.

Unfortunately, aggressive non-apologetic statements from the White House are being drown out by the apologies.  I can understand the strategy behind Obama extending a hand to Republicans, knowing it will be slapped away, leaving Democrats the "Hey, we tried!" theme for future legislative battles and 2012, but how that precludes a tax cut showdown isn't clear.  It's hard to muster a political or policy defense of backing down from this fight in the lame-duck.  Letting the cuts for the wealthy expire is extremely popular, not to mention extremely good policy, and a chance for a little definition of a blurry Democratic Party.

Keeping middle class cuts in place while letting cuts for the rich expire, and "paying it forward" with the savings is an unquestionable win.  Validating Republican talking-points -- Again -- will serve as an endorsement of the Tax Cut = Jobs Mythology and lies about to see an old fashioned big-tent revival in the GOP lead house.

This is a fight that needs to be picked.



Tags: Lame-Duck Congress, Bush tax cuts (all tags)



I agree

I traded stock professionally for a few years, and what I've seen of the stock market made me into a democrat. We need good regulations and fair bidding practices, and an even, strong market is what makes jobs - not one that just goes wild west and ends up completely out of hand and under the gavel.


The Bush Republicans pushed for these tax cuts, and then ran them for eight years and they not only didn't produce jobs, they helped create a global economic crash.


Further, the latest polls are in and - get this. 16% - that's right folks, 16% of Americans believe that the last election should be viewed as a mandate to the GOP to pursue their goals. Not even republicans in their own party believe that the GOP will get it right - this shows a bit of institutional memory on behalf of the American people, and it makes me proud. 


The GOP will NOT be in full obstruction mode come 2011, so it's fairly safe to say that whatever can be done now, should be done. And to help reduce the deficit and stabilize our economy will be a good thing - we are already seeing the effects of the Obama administration on the economy.


We need to see more. Not less.

A Republican, seems to be someone who is either trying to keep the essential elements of a regulated, fair market - out of the picture - or he's off using American military power to force other countries into an unfair situation , whether through invasion - or ham-handed diplomacy. Obama did alot to restore our economy. I'm looking at the numbers now - and I'm seeing a huge rebound in economic sales / retail is up 100% , beating expectations by nearly 72%.

Stock market is rockin'. If Obama makes his policies felt and known, then he will get credit for the recovery that he's sparked.


I like it. I also like the fact that the Dems circled the wagons around Pelosi and kept her in power. She's a good chick.


So. Yeah. I agree.  Besides, the top 2% are doing well. Alot of cash is just being hoarded and sitting on the sidelines. This will encourage those guys out there to get it moving again.


by Trey Rentz 2010-11-15 03:28PM | 0 recs
Good post

I am with those who don't understand why the dems don't just ignore the Bush cuts and offer an alternative bill that maintains them for those who need them, and those who will actually spend the money and feed the economy.  Make the GOP vote against Obama's and Reid's and Pelosi's middle class tax cuts.  But there must be some political issue with pursuing it that way.  I am also not opposed to a bill that contains tax incentives for small business hiring.  Call the GOP bluff on their notion that tax cuts for those making over $250K protect small businesses.  Replace them with incentives (I think Shumer is pushing this tack.)

But mostly, I agree that THIS is where we need to fight.  We can win this.  We've got the economic analysis and moral highground.  It just doesn't seem that hard to seize the initiative here and send the message that the GOP, with all the Tea Party populist appeals to Main Street, is the party of kickbacks for billionaire sponsors.  I think it also sends the message that the dems aren't going to fold in the face of a setback.  Americans love "grit" and "determination."  Let's show them some and then run on it as we move forward with the WH and Senate in our hands.  Anything that appears defeatist will appear as weakness, not pragmatic compromise.  This is the perfect fight.  Let's make Eric Cantor defend tax-cuts for billionaires while we try to support the middle class and lift the recovery.  It's a simple and effective narrative.  Obama needs to be it's primary bard.

by Strummerson 2010-11-15 03:37PM | 0 recs
RE: Good post

Unfortunately, Obama has already capitulated on extending all the Bush tax cuts. He is now down to pleading that they not be made permanent but extended for "only" three more years.

by antiHyde 2010-11-15 05:36PM | 0 recs
RE: Good post

I wonder if the goal there is to remove all of them? Or to just cut the top percentage off. I think the top 2 percent argument is a good one.


by Trey Rentz 2010-11-16 07:36AM | 0 recs


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