More Senators Refuse Tax Increase for the Rich

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Monday, September 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Senate Democrats, back to business this week, are blasting out some snazzy graphics regarding the Bush tax cuts. Here’s one from today:

The grist for the graphic? Every Senate Republican has agreed to filibuster any bill renewing or making permanent the Bush tax cuts for middle-class families, while letting the cuts for high-income earners expire. The White House has proposed letting the top marginal rate rise from 35 to 39.6 percent for Americans making more than $250,000 a year as a household or $200,000 a year as an individual — about two percent of filers. That would save the country $700 billion in lost revenue.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) supports the Obama plan, but might be forced to play chicken with the GOP if he wants to press for the tax increase on the two percent. If Congress passes nothing before Jan. 1 due to Senate filibusters, all of the tax cuts expire, including for low-income and middle-income earners. That is an outcome nobody wants.

More-moderate Democrats are also indicating their lack of support for the Obama plan, meaning it has no path through the Senate. (Democrats need every member of their caucus plus one Republican to overcome a Republican filibuster. As I wrote back in July, Democrats do not have reconciliation, which precludes a filibuster, on the table.)

Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with the Democrats, have both come out against the Obama plan, among others. Here’s Lieberman, speaking today:

I don’t think it makes sense to raise any federal taxes during the uncertain economy we are struggling through. The more money we leave in private hands, the quicker our economic recovery will be. And that means I will do everything I can to make sure Congress extends the so-called Bush tax cuts for another year and takes action to prevent the estate tax from rising back to where it was.

These cuts were originally passed at a time when the economy was strong. I supported most of them, but opposed a few of them because I thought we needed to pay the costs of the war we were fighting after 9-11, and we needed to stay out of debt. But now in our current economic situation, we cannot risk the economic headwinds that would be caused by tax increases. We need to keep as much money as possible in people’s pockets and business’s bank accounts.

I know that many people, including the President, have argued that the tax cuts should not be continued for people making more than $200,000 a year, but to me these are the people we need to be using their income to spend and invest to spur growth and job creation.

The fact is that the top three percent of American income earners account for 25% of the consumption in our economy. Remember consumer demand is still the major driver of economic growth in America. I want the top income earners in our country to have the confidence and the money to spend and invest over the next year, rather than worrying about paying more in taxes to the federal government.

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Eric_Jaffa
Comment posted September 13, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

“If Congress passes nothing before Jan. 1 due to Senate filibusters, all of the tax cuts expire, including for low-income and middle-income earners. That is an outcome nobody wants.”

Actually, 15% of Americans want to return to the taxes we had under President Clinton.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/extending_the_bush_tax_cuts_fo.html


ValleyVixon
Comment posted September 13, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

I have a question, I am losing my unemployment in October. I am taxed on my unemployment, if I can't get unemployment how will I pay the taxes due? Oh yeah, I will get a job the day after I receive my last check…Duh. We need an extension on unemployment, we need to build our manufacturing base. But more importantly we need to tax the rich. How the hell can they be considered our economic base? let them spend on new factories, use the money for jobs creation and get a tax break for every hire. No more free ride. And on Nov. 2, vote the idiots out….


webcelt
Comment posted September 13, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

I'll go further and say that even if you're affected by the middle class tax cuts, it means you're working and have a steady income. If the Republicans want to filibuster, let them, use it against them, and let all the cuts expire. Then use the increased revenue for measures that immediately create jobs, like even more infrastructure repair than the president proposes.


vabelle
Comment posted September 14, 2010 @ 1:55 am

Annie, I love you, I do. But… Could you please quit with the Repub talking point of the “tax increase”, for anyone? The old (Bush/Cheney) tax cuts expire, as scheduled. Obama offers *new* tax cuts — for a slightly different spectrum of the public (98% of it, to be precise). Unless and until we drive the message through — Bush planned it that way (ie for the '10 sunset of the free ride for the piggies) — we'll always be on defense, which is not where we need to be.


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