Fair Share? — Democrats have flip-flopped on ‘unfair’ Bush tax cuts
December 12, 2012 12:00 AM | 2581 views | 7 7 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Democrats have spent years complaining about how unfair the Bush tax cuts were for the middle class. Yet suddenly, President Obama and other Democrats, are adamant that keeping those cuts in place is crucial for the well-being of yes, the middle class. Say what? Why have Obama and his allies flip-flopped?

In a word, politics.

The president, not content with just winning the election, is still in campaign mode, demonizing Republicans and demanding they cave in and agree to raise taxes as part of negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire Dec. 31 unless a deal is worked out. According to the Associated Press, Obama is demanding $1.6 trillion in new taxes over the next decade, partly by raising tax rates on incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples (“the rich,” as he likes to describe them). Meanwhile, he is recommending $400 billion in (mostly unspecified) spending cuts over the next decade.

Obama is painting himself as the defender of the middle class by now favoring the very same middle-class tax cuts that he and most other Democrats spent the past decade fervently opposing. And he also shamelessly claims that Republicans would be responsible for the higher taxes on the middle class that would result if the Bush cuts expire — even though it was Republicans who passed the Bush tax cuts in the first place, and who want to keep those cuts in place for everybody.

Republicans argue, with history on their side, that higher tax rates like those sought by Obama translate to job losses and slower growth. His demand for higher taxes on “the wealthy”so they will have to “pay their fair share” is driven by his well-known desire for economic redistribution, not by sound economics. It’s proving to be a popular proposal, which is hardly surprising. Who wants to pay higher taxes if you can make someone else pay more instead?

Yes, the Bush tax rate cuts resulted in lower tax rates for the wealthy, just like for other Americans. But the wealthy have also wound up paying an even higher proportion of the tax burden than other Americans, thanks to those cuts. The top 1 percent of earners paid 37 percent of total taxes in 2000 before the cuts, and 40 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers (a number that probably includes most of us) paid 15 percent less in taxes in 2007 than they had in 2000.

One more pertinent fact: under the Bush tax cuts, which supposedly are so favorable to “the rich,” the top 5 percent of taxpayers are paying 61 percent of the nation’s income taxes, even though they earn only 37 percent of the national income.

How’s that for paying one’s “fair share”?

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rjsnh
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December 12, 2012
Seriously, MDJ editors need to develop the same kind of balanced approach to its views that the President has taken on dealing with the deficit. I realize you are part of the group that would like to secede from the United States and become the Southern States. Of course, then, Southerns would be the first in line to request foreign aid....seriously, try to develop a more informed and balanced perspective....try changing the channel from FOX for a start...
Ole Man
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December 12, 2012
What!! The approach is to increase taxes on the 2% to be fair. Nothing about spending cuts at this time. The same situation has occurred in the past- raise taxes and cuts will be discussed later. Never happened. Why should Republicans or even Blue Dog Democrats believe it this time.
Tbrougher
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December 12, 2012
@rjsnh

Try changing your channel from MSNBC for a start...
VFP42
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December 12, 2012
Well once again Republicans and the MDJ have forgotten that lower tax rates lead to higher tax revenue.

Clearly Obama raising the tax rate on the wealthiest 2% of U.S. Americans would result in that wealthiest 2% paying fewer dollars in taxes.

So why is there any disagreement at all? Explain that one to me PLEASE!

Is the President "in campaign mode, demonizing Republicans," or did George Bush and Karl Rove inadvertently throw their own party under the bus with these expirations that were intended to cause the Democrats to look bad?

R's messed up royally. As Ann Coulter said, you LOST. You can stop spewing the venemous old stories now. Nobody is buying them anymore other than a handful of retiree MDJ subscribers and editors, but we all know how easy the elderly are to scam!

The actual situation is, R's tried to set the D's up with these expirations, but it's come back and bit them in the Honey Boo Boo. The D's have an absolute position of power here since the "fiscal cliff" gives them everything they wanted and then some.

The R's have nothing but complaints as they dig up another piece of Honey Poo Poo in their ever descreasing little corner of the sandbox.
Julie Smart
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December 12, 2012
The Democrats think they have the upper hand. They got their president. Wait and listen to the peeing and moaning from that side when those entitlements are carved down and they are not getting those monthly royalties they so depend on. Oh, by they way, I am a Lib, and we are laughing our butts off that both sides are fools, especially the Demos cause they think they have one up on them.......hahhhhhhaaaa, if they only knew.
VFP43
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December 12, 2012
@VFP42

Thanks for the update on what your read in the Daily Kos and the Huffington Puffington Post.
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