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View Diary: Nancy Pelosi's middle-class tax cut extension sets the bar too high (74 comments)

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  •  All Bush Tax Cuts Should Expire (6+ / 0-)

    And start all over.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:44:38 PM PDT

    •  To start over, we need a Democratic Congress, (0+ / 0-)

      ... filibuster reform, a more solid majority than a bare 50 in the Senate (new Ben Nelsons will abound whenever narrow votes give them leverage) and a significant chipping away of the Blue Dogs in the House.

      Even then, a lot of the House comes from districts where constituents have high enough incomes (e.g. NY, CT) and/or reliance on favorable capital gains treatment (e.g. FL). That makes watching the Bush tax cuts expire without "saving" any of them a bigger political problem than many of us commenters recognize.

      This bundle of tax issues is dangerous. It has the prospect of splitting activist Progressives from other Democrats, to the likely benefit of That Other Party if this breaks loose before the elections.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:33:18 AM PDT

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      •  What (0+ / 0-)

        Are you talking about?

        We have 100% of the leverage, now and later.  Why is it in our interest to capitulate before the election?   There is a class war.  Pelosi upwardly defining middle class as one million dollars for no reason should get her leadership position taken away.  Bad policy, and losing politics.  

        If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

        by Nada Lemming on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:22:57 AM PDT

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        •  There is not so much leverage as you think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TRPChicago

          By your logic, the GOP had the leverage in the debt ceiling debate.  They didn't really win that one (as evidenced by their scrambling to undo the sequester now), even though they could "do nothing".

          Lets be clear, it is simply not an option to let all of the tax cuts expire, just like it was never an option to not raise the debt ceiling.  The folks at RedState were saying exactly what you are saying last summer about that issue:  "just let the country default, it will be better in the end".  They were wrong, and so are advocates of complete expiration.

          If the tax cuts expire, EVERY working American will get a tax increase, even those who don't currently pay taxes, because some of the provisions are direct low-income tax credits that will go away.  For someone making $25,000/year, losing $1,500 in tax credits is HUGE.  Much bigger than someone making $5,000,000, who loses $45,000 in increased marginal rates.  And, losing that $1,500 is not magically going to get that person a better job.

          Plus, letting all of the tax increases expire will cede this issue entirely, on a silver platter to the GOP for the next two elections.  It could spur a backlash where the GOP runs on a tax cutting platform, wins the presidency and both houses in 2016, and enacts something even bigger.  Remember, they did the tax cut in 2001 with a 50-50 Senate, through reconciliation.  They'd do it again in a heartbeat.  Look at what the GOP accomplished in 2010 with only the health care bill to gin up the base.  And, lest we forget, the "Tea Party" was launched on tax day 2009 - not a coincidence.  Taxes is the one issue that unites all republican constituents, and Dem crossovers.  

          No, Dems cannot allow this hostage to be shot, even by doing nothing, anymore than the GOP could allow the country to default.  

          •  Oh please (0+ / 0-)

            All they have to do is nothing.  Nothing.  It's not so hard to pay hardball when it's passive.  If the worst happens, Clinton era prosperity!  No downside whatsoever.  

            If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

            by Nada Lemming on Fri May 25, 2012 at 12:17:24 PM PDT

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        •  No, I'm not for "capitulating" at all. (0+ / 0-)

          I was replying to the previous comment, which was: "All Bush Tax Cuts Should Expire. And start all over."

          You can't do that "start all over" thing without a solidly Democratic Congress. And I don't know what you mean by "capitulating." If you mean to let the Bush tax cuts expire and wait for Republicans to see the light, that'll be a long wait indeed.

          That being unlikely, what tax rates would you like to see? The Bush cuts involve all brackets. I'm pretty sure that doing nothing means the lowest bracket would go from 10% to 15%, a 50% increase. Rates on long term capital gains go from the present 15% (maximum, less for lower income taxpayers) to 20% and on dividends, up to 39%. There would be a number of other impacts, as well.

          The strategy of the GOP was to couple the brackets so that it is much harder to raise just the top rate, whatever income level it applies to. The GOP will like your idea of letting everything expire and starting from a new base more than de-coupling. Why? Because (1) it will therefore be the Democrats who imposed tax increases on the middle class and (2) Republicans can raise even more enormous amounts of money.

          As for leverage ... where do you get your 100%? Unless we can change the filibuster rule, passing things in the Senate is pretty difficult. (Blocking is easy, but that certainly is not starting all over.) What leverage do you think we have now in the House - which must initiate revenue legislation (Art. 1, Sec. 1)? What exactly gets a GOP-controlled Ways and Means Committee to act?

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Fri May 25, 2012 at 09:47:25 AM PDT

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          •  Start over (0+ / 0-)

            The entire debate is dishonest.  What was wrong in the 90s with that tax structure?  Absolutely nothing.  You want a civil society, you pay for it.  Period.  The rest is kabuki to convince us that the dems really are fighting for us, when they are really pandering.  Change the debate.  Say no, well do nothing, if you won't even agree to so little.  They are the ones with a motivation, not us.  It was our power all along.  

            That you buy into the tax cut = mandatory means you believe in the republican line of thinking, just not so severely.  

            If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

            by Nada Lemming on Fri May 25, 2012 at 12:15:09 PM PDT

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            •  With respect, you're making a case for wholesale (0+ / 0-)

              ... tax reform with this "start over" simplicity. I'd be for that. Let's all be for that. But don't be confident you'll get what you want out of such a process. Tax policy is an area where Democrats and Republicans become blended in amazing ways.

              As for the "tax structure" in the 1990's, I think you're being nostalgic about the wrong thing. But we're so far apart on the realities- the doability of fair taxes, not the ultimate goal - that the game isn't worth the candle.

              Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

              by TRPChicago on Fri May 25, 2012 at 12:39:56 PM PDT

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              •  I'm fine (0+ / 0-)

                With getting nothing but the Clinton tax structure.  More dems should be on board for that.

                If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

                by Nada Lemming on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:10:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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