There is a hugely important practical and symbolic reason why the Democrats absolutely, positively, MUST allow tax rates on net income over $250K to go back to the levels under Bill Clinton. But I haven't seen it expressly mentioned here or anywhere else.
We need to do this to crush Grover Norquist.
For the last 12 years, Norquist, an unelected private citizen, has had an iron grip on tax policy in this country, to the great detriment of our fiscal situation. No Republican politician will vote to raise any tax bracket whatsoever, all because of Norquist.
So with the House in Republican hands probably until 2022, not to mention the Senate filibuster rules currently in place, the ONLY way that we can raise a tax rate on any income bracket is by implementing the Obama Tax Cuts and letting the rate on income over $250K go back up to what it was before the Bush tax cut disaster. Since the Bush tax cuts for the rich will expire on their own on December 31, we Dems are holding all the cards.
This is the opportunity of our political lifetime, one that we may never see again, and we simply cannot let this opportunity go by. If any other compromise is reached that allows the tax bracket over $250K to stay where it is now, Norquist and the Republicans will be able to claim victory and the chance of any increase in the future goes down dramatically, as well as the Democrats' image and chances of future electoral success. Even if the Republicans offer alternatives under which the total revenue collected from the wealthy supposedly will not go down (and I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you if you believe that), we will still have lost the war.
This is our best, and maybe last, opportunity to take Norquist down.
Mr. President, and Senate Democrats, don't cave on this, no matter what alternatives the Republicans offer. This is absolutely crucial to our nation and our party. The tax rate on net income over $250 MUST be allowed to go back up to what it was in the 1990's.