The GOP war against the middle class continues.
It's no secret that Republicans are pressing for a full extension of President Bush's 2001 tax cuts -- including income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. But they are now also including a push for a different set of Bush tax cuts -- passed in 2003 -- on capital gains and dividends.
The office of Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) is seeking signatures on a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- obtained by TPM -- asking for a full extension of both sets of tax cuts.
"We are writing to request the House consider legislation providing an up-or-down vote to extend the expiring provisions in The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (P.L.#107-16) and The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (P.L.#108-27)," the letter reads....
It's no surprise that Republicans would want to see all of President Bush's tax cuts extended. In fact they've been fairly explicit about it. But the debate on Capitol Hill has been largely centered on the 2001 cuts, and this latest move represents a broadening of the GOP argument for high-income tax cuts.
Turns out, these guys love the deficit. They think it's turned into such a great political tool for them that they've turned into a deficit-perpetuating machine.
To be clear, this does primarily help the very rich.
The decline in effective tax rates at the very top is due in large part to the capital gains tax cuts enacted in 1997 and 2003. The top marginal tax rate on capital gains is now 15 percent, less than half the top tax rate on wages and salaries. The top 400 taxpayers derived two-thirds of their income from capital gains and qualified dividends in 2007....
In 2007, the top 400 filers derived 66 percent of their income from capital gains and dividends, compared to 22 percent for filers making between $500,000 and $1 million and just 2 percent for those making under $50,000.
They'll argue that it's about protecting seniors and middle-class people who have significant investments, but they'll lie. It's about making the rich richer and driving up the deficits to make the case for killing Social Security and Medicare.