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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tax Cuts For The Rich: Democrats, Get. Out. Of. The. Way.

Democratic politicians and liberal bloggers continue to scream about "millionaires" tax cuts, quoting polls showing more Americans are against letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich while extending the tax cuts for everyone else.

We have seen this same movie, it was called Obamacare aka Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Poll after poll was conducted (scroll down at that link for polling done over the the last two years) for over a year showing the American public, by a majority, was opposed to the Democrats and Obama's massive Obamacare law, with liberal bloggers pounding away at their keyboards and reporters pushing polls about individual portions of the bill and how those specific questions were liked by the American people.

Now we move on to the Tax issue, where Democrats want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the everyone but let the tax cuts for the wealthy (whether it is the old $250,000 threshold or the new $1 million threshold) and Republicans want all the Bush tax cuts extended.

Just as with Obamacare, the individual issues do not add up to the whole and that is something that the massive "shellacking" of November 2, 2010, the midterm elections which gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives in January 2011 and 6 additional seats in the Senate, did not teach Democrats.

The Tax argument was being conducted before the midterm elections and Republicans never once took the position that they wanted any of the tax cuts to expire, they made it clear on campaign trails, in the news and every interview that they wanted all the tax cuts extended and they would fight for it.

They never lied about that being their goal and the public overwhelmingly voted them into power for the House and gave them more to fight with in the Senate.

Here is why.

In September Gallup found Republicans were trusted more than Democrats on nine of ten key issues, included in those issues were federal spending, the economy and jobs. Voters also made it clear economy mattered the most.

In October, Rasmussen found, just like Gallup did the previous month that the economy was the most important issue and that poll also showed voters trusted Republicans more that Democrats, 49 to 39 percent.

Taxes were specifically mentioned in that Rasmussen poll:

Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters nationwide place their trust in the hands of Republicans when it comes to the issue of taxes. Thirty-nine percent (39%) would rather the Democrats handle this issue. The GOP has held a solid lead over Democrats on this issue since early July 2009.

Republican's reason was stated recently by Rep. David Drier (R-Calif.)when he said "Increasing taxes is a prescription for failure. It undermines the potential for economic growth. The fact of the matter is that any member of this House that votes in favor of the measure before us is voting for a tax increase. They are voting in favor of increasing taxes on American businesses and investors."

Now Congress is in the lame duck session, the time after the elections but before the Republicans actually take control of the House, and Nancy Pelosi set up a vote on extending only a portion of the tax cuts, using her last breaths as being speaker to have a "show vote" which passed 234 to 188 to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts on incomes up to $250,000.

A show vote because there is no chance of it passing in the Senate and Pelosi knew it.

In the Senate, Harry Reid is planning more "show votes", setting up votes he knows will not pass, wasting time to make a point instead of getting serious about the issue, as well as bringing up items that were found, by Gallup, to be less of a priority during the lame duck session, (DADT, DREAM Act, START..etc..) than the issue of taxes before bringing the final tax vote to the floor.

President Barack Obama has already signaled he is prepared to sign a compromise along those lines, and the White House has been negotiating privately with Republicans on a broader bill that would include Democratic priorities as well.

Among them are an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and extension of additional expiring tax breaks for lower- and middle-income workers even if they don't make enough to owe the IRS money. College students would also benefit under the White House's proposals, as would companies that hire the unemployed.

Also part of the discussions is a possible increase in the federal debt limit, which allows the government to continue to borrow to meet its financial obligations.

Democrats advanced two proposals, neither of which was expected to gain the 60 votes needed to advance.

Emphasis mine.

Why the show votes when Congress still needs to deal with so many issues?

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y answers that question:

Republicans dismissed the attacks as the last gasp of a Democratic Party that lost its majority in the House in midterm elections, surrendered several seats in the Senate and will be forced to share power beginning in January.

"All of this finger-pointing is doing nothing to create jobs," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "It's a total waste of time."

Noting that unemployment had risen to 9.8 percent, he added: "Democrats are responding with a vote to slam job creators with a massive tax increase. Millions of out-of-work Americans don't want show-votes or finger-pointing contests. They want jobs."

Democrats said that wasn't the point. "This is going to be a winning argument, not just for this week, but for the next two years," said Schumer, looking ahead to 2012.
Again, emphasis mine and there is your answer for all the show votes. Democrats are too worried right now about the 2012 elections where 23 Democratic Senate seats are in play, than they are about dealing with the economy and tax issues in a serious manner.

[Update] As predicted Harry Reid's waste-of-time show votes failed and now they get down to business on taxes.

Democrats failed to break a Republican filibuster Saturday of two measures that would have ended Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, forcing both parties back to the negotiating table if they want to avert a tax hike next year for most Americans.

The doomed vote mean Democrats would ultimately need to strike a deal that runs contrary to their campaign promises over the past 10 years. Rather than eliminating the upper-end tax cuts, Democrats will likely cede to Republican demands to renew all of the Bush tax cuts for several years – a move that many in the party view as a major defeat.


The Saturday votes appeared to be part of the process towards reaching a deal. Democrats wanted to show where they stood – and only after they did that could they begin to accept the inevitable outcome, a temporary renewal of all the Bush tax cuts, rather than just those for the middle class.

[End Update]

That isn't all Schumer had to say though, and major H/T to AllahPundit over at Hot Air pointing the way to Guy Benson who caught this little tidbit in a rare moment of honesty by Schumer:

Voters “did say ‘repeal health care,’ they did say ‘reduce the size of government.’ But not a single one of them from the tea party or anywhere said ‘give tax breaks to the wealthiest,’” Schumer said in a rare moment of candor.

He admits voters want Obamacare repealed.

That is just a side note though, the important part of that statement for me is where he said "But not a single one of them from the tea party or anywhere said ‘give tax breaks to the wealthiest."

No, perhaps they did not, but they have made it clear from polling shown above, they trust the Republicans more on taxes, even tough Republicans made it clear before the elections that they wanted all the tax cuts extended, including those for the wealthy and business owners.

That is called looking at the picture as a whole and not cherry picking specific parts of that whole to try to make a point. Didn't work for Obamacare when Democrats tried it, as polling still shows the majority of Americans want it repealed and it isn't going to work on taxes.

The public also believes the Republicans are more trusted on the economy and jobs and with unemployment now reaching 9.8, rising and not falling after four years of Democrats controlling both Houses of Congress and two years of them controlling the White House and both House's of Congress, it is time for Democrats to GET. OUT. OF. THE. WAY... and let Republicans try to fix the mess the last four years of taxes, spending, spending some more and adding trillions onto our deficit, have made.

(Additions have been made to this post to reflect updates on the Reid/Pelosi "show votes as well as clarifications and link added to a second Gallup poll)