Today, President Obama announced his plans to extend the Bush tax cuts for those households making under $250,000 per year, and allowing them to expire for those who make more.
I think this is a brilliant tactical maneuver, because it puts the Republicans in a a tight spot. A bit of a sticky wicket. (I am delighted to get to use that phrase!)
1. The Repubs can push the extension of the tax cuts for everyone, but this would undercut their constant bloviating about reducing the deficit. I would hope that President Obama would veto such an extension. It would also give the justifiable impression that they don’t want the richest 2% to do their part.
2. They can pass an extension of the middle class tax cuts and allow that on the richest 2% to expire. That would mean giving President Obama a victory. That would piss off the 2 percenters.
3. They can do nothing and let the tax cuts expire, which will not only piss off those 2 percenters, it will put additional strain on the already weak recovery, and the Repubs will probably pay the price in 2014. This would also show that they are intransigent and unwilling to work together to pay down the deficit. And are they really willing to halt the recovery in order to harm President Obama, even though it would harm the country and millions of people who are still struggling? Never mind...rhetorical question.
The more I think about it, the more it seems they’ve backed themselves into a teeny little corner. This hinges upon whether or not President Obama will hang tough on this. He pissed off a lot of his own base in 2010, when he extended the tax cuts for all for two years. (I’ve written about that before...some of my liberal friends disagree, but I feel that it was politically expedient and allowed him to get another stimulus—without really calling it that—and an extension on unemployment benefits. But that is a debate that we’re pretty much beyond now.)
One of Mittens’ financial supporters said that the poors are uneducated and just don’t understand how the “systems work.” I’m guessing that is a message that isn’t going to play well with a large portion of the population. The condescension is astounding. Can someone ask the “nails ladies” and the babysitters about this?
There is a bigger problem here, though. I am perplexed that there are still people—and the entire Republican party feels this way and has made it part of their platform—who think that trickle down economics actually works. It didn’t work when Reagan foisted it upon our nation, and it doesn’t work now. Well, I guess it depends on if you’re the 98% or you’re that 2%, because the 2% fares pretty well under such a philosophy. It’s the 98% who gets screwed and gets no portion of that particular pie. The tax cuts were extended for all in 2010. Why didn’t businesses start hiring then? Shouldn’t there have been jobs galore under the Republican philosophy? It makes no sense.
And riddle me this, Batman. If they’re so concerned about the deficit, why the hell weren’t they pitching a fit when we engaged in not one but two unfunded wars? Why are they completely unwilling to make cuts in the defense budget?
Again, never mind. Rhetorical questions.
It should be interesting to see how this plays out. Be tough on this, Mr. President. Be tough for the 98%.