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AP: Venal GOP Refused To Raise Income Tax

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Bush tax cut debate dooms deal to cut deficit

November 22, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — A long-running war between Democrats and Republicans over Bush-era tax cuts doomed the debt supercommittee’s chances of reaching a deal. Efforts to overhaul the tax code may await the same fate as both parties gear up to make taxes a central issue in 2012 elections.

Republicans insisted during the supercommittee negotiations that curbing tax breaks to raise revenues be coupled with guarantees that all the Bush tax cuts would continue beyond 2012. The tax cuts, which affect families at every income level, were enacted under President George W. Bush and were extended through 2012 under President Barack Obama.

Republicans for years have bashed Democrats as eager to raise taxes — a theme they will employ often in next year’s elections — so they weren’t about to agree to a tax hike unless they also could take credit for preventing a huge tax increase scheduled to take effect in 2013.

Democrats countered that the supercommittee was created to reduce the budget deficit, not add to it by extending tax cuts. Most Democrats, including Obama, want to extend the Bush tax cuts only to individuals making less than $200,000 a year and married couples making less than $250,000.

This is the first we have heard of Obama and the Democrats wanting to extend the Bush tax cuts for anybody. We suspect it is just another AP lie.

"We simply could not overcome the Republican insistence on making tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a member of the supercommittee

So sayeth a man who has a history of tax avoidance, including using off shore accounts.

Another member of the supercommittee, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., said, "It is deeply regrettable that my Democrat colleagues could not see their way to addressing these much-needed reforms without at least $1 trillion in job-killing tax increases on families and employers."

How could raising taxes by $1 trillion dollars hurt the economy?

Extending all the Bush tax cuts, including provisions to spare millions of middle-class families from paying the alternative minimum tax, would add $3.9 trillion to the budget deficit over the next decade, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO is about as non-partisan as the AP. And their calculations are equally useless.

The Democratic plan would add about $3.1 trillion to the deficit over the same period and make the wealthiest Americans pay about $800 billion more in taxes…

Is this article a year old? These are exactly the same arguments and the same preposterous numbers we had to hear after the mid-term elections. When the Democrats were forced into extending the Bush tax cuts through 2012.

Democrats had said they would accept significant cuts to benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid, but only if Republicans would agree to tax increases.

The Democrats will agree to anything to get tax increases. After all, they can always undo their promises. But the tax increases are forever.

Despite Republicans’ aversion to tax increases, a growing number of GOP lawmakers said they would consider higher taxes if they were coupled with significant spending cuts.

Other Republicans wanted even more political cover: a guarantee that all the Bush tax cuts would be made permanent

Gosh, those Republicans are venal. What could be more evil than wanting Americans to be able to keep more of their own money.

Meanwhile, what could be more heroic than increasing taxes in order to buy votes for their re-election, like the Democrats do?

At one point, supercommittee member Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., proposed a tax overhaul package that Republicans said would raise about $290 billion in additional revenue over the next decade but lock in all of the Bush tax cuts.

This is not even an accurate description of the Toomey proposal, at least according to the AP article we posted about it, which was written by this same reporter.

According to that piece, the Toomey plan would lower the top rate from 35% down to 28%, in exchange for the loss of itemized deductions, including the mortgage deduction. But why let such details get in the way of a good story?

Democrats, however, never seriously considered an agreement to continue the Bush tax cuts for high earners. Agreeing to extend them would make it harder for Democrats to accuse Republicans of supporting policies that favor the wealthy, a staple of Democratic political campaigns.

"If anybody in our party votes for that, they will have a real problem for themselves in the next election," said Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, a senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee…

And a famously patriotic American.

But all of this was doomed from the start. Obama has long since decided to run against the do-nothing Republican Congress. The T-SHIRTS have been made, the bumper stickers have been printed, the campaign ads have been shot. 

In fact, Obama doesn’t just want to run against Congress, he wants to run against the rich. He wants to run on class warfare. He is going to run on the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ ticket. That’s how he intends to bring us together — again.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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