Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Dems cowardice on tax cuts might help most Americans long-term

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Those who root for the Democratic Party have been freaking out because the Senate Dems leadership went the Cowardly Lion route on voting to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class.

Of course, one of the problems is that the Democratic Party insists of labeling the “middle class” as making $249,000 per year. Approximately 2% of Americans make more than a quarter million a year. The upper class must be very, very tiny.

But here is why the Democratic Party’s cowardice might be the best thing for the country.

The Dems love catering to the middle class, as skewed as that perception may be. There are two major parties: the GOP loves the rich, and the Dems love the middle class. If you factor in that 94-95% of Americans make less than $100,000, neither party is fighting for them. And these people may benefit from the Dem Cowardly Lion impressions.

The teabaggers scream about the deficit, and the vast majority of them make well under $100,000. So you would think that the teabaggers would love the Dems’ move. After all, if the Democratic Party does nothing, nobody will get a tax cut, and that will reduce our deficit.

If you get a tax cut, the less money you make, the less you will get back. The Democrats are fighting for those making $100,000-$249,999, and the Republicans fight for those making $250,000 and more. Those making less than $100,000 have to fight for themselves.

Now, you might think that a tax cut is a good thing, given how horrible the economy is. And you could make a valid argument to support this. But if you are in the vast majority of Americans, think about how the Dems’ strategy is short-term insane, but long-term brilliant.

The Bush tax cuts did a big chunk of economic damage over the last 10 years, mostly from those making $100,00o or more. Those who made six figures benefited tremendously from the policy; those who didn’t suffered as a result.

President Obama’s strategy to help those who were suffering as a result of the economic meltdown of 2008 should have been to stand up and end the Bush tax cuts shortly after he took office. That news would have helped the 94-95% of Americans, but we know that didn’t happen.

The only consolation to the Bush tax cuts — a tiny consolation — is that legislation must be passed to extend them. The Senate Democratic leadership’s lack of political courage almost seals that the tax cuts won’t be passed.

The political pundits have pointed out that there are three Senate seats — IL, DE, WV — currently held on an interim basis by Dems might disappear shortly after Election Day on November 2. And they point out that any Dem loss in those seats makes passing tax cuts even more difficult. But they aren’t passing now, so why should the November 2 results matter?

The beautiful irony is that if the tax cuts won’t pass, the fault will lie in the lap of the Republican Party. The MSM hasn’t seen that irony, but to be fair, holding the GOP up to its own standards is the MSM’s blind spot.

Unfortunately, the tax cuts will likely pass because sucking up to those making six figures will prove way too tempting to politicians. Yes, those tax cuts will slightly help the vast majority of Americans, but not as much as they need and at the expense of a growing deficit.

So let’s see how the scorecards look:

— Tax cuts hurt what the teabaggers consider to be very important, yet the teabaggers will want the tax cuts.

— The GOP is letting tax cuts wither in the wind.

— The Dems may lose more seats as a result of their cowardice, yet finally do something that might help most Americans.

Just to remember, the end of the Bush tax cuts returns the tax rates to the levels we had during the Clinton Administration, when the economy did much better.

There is economic anger on the right and there is economic anger on the left. The MSM pumps up the former and ignores the latter. But the anger is there. And the short-term pacifier known as tax cuts only go so far, especially when a small minority gets most of the benefits.

Americans want brave, bold political leadership to make the tough decisions. Ironically, not passing any tax cuts might be the boldest political decision in some time, even if the decision was born out of pure cowardice.


Written by democracysoup

October 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

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