WICHITA, Kan. - Today's US Senate agenda holds a pair of votes, one on a proposal to extend all expiring Bush era tax cuts on individuals with incomes of less than $200,000 a year and married couples making less than $250,000; the other to renew them for all tax filers with incomes of less than $1 million. These are practical bills in light of the current deficit worries of some. They would tax the rich and keep some extra money in the pockets of the poor and middle class. But Americans who like to make bets on such matters succeeding or not would be wise to bet against passage of either option.
Led by Sen. McConnell, their arrogant minority leader in the Senate, Republicans plan to circumvent sanity and prevent passage of both bills to further the interests of the super rich individuals and corporations such as the Koch brothers. As if the pockets of the super rich needed even more bounty in their pockets and treasure chests.
Americans cannot possibly be thinking about what they read and hear.
"All those people out there in the tea party that are angry about the economics of Washington, they really need to look at this," Sen. Claire McCaskill., D-Mo., said Friday as Democrats took turns pummeling Republicans. "They need to pull back the curtain and realize that you've got a Republican Party that's not worried about the people in the tea party," said McCaskill. "They're worried about people that can't decide which home to go to over the Christmas holidays." (David Espo, AP, Dec. 4, 2010)
It has been proven repeatedly that cutting taxes on the wealthy makes few jobs, nothing like this country needs to absorb the hundreds of thousands unemployed and underemployed now. Even the much-vaunted Reaganomics did not "trickle down" to the middle class and the poor. When President Reagan's heralded tax cuts went into effect, only the wealthy benefited enough to count. The tax rate of the super rich was 75%. Reagan cut their rate to 50%. WOW!! Today their rate of income tax is at most 39%. During the eight years of Reagan's presidency the savings of the super rich rose dramatically over 10%; the savings of the middle class only increased, at best, 4%.
David Brooks, conservative columnist of the NY Times suggests that President Obama use his 2011 State of the Union message to present a program to completely revamp the US income tax structure to cut income taxes and remove many deductions. "He (Obama) stands before Congress and gestures over to a giant stack of paper. 'This is our tax code,' he tells the American people. 'It's rotten and we're scrapping it.'" (NY Times, Dec. 2, 2010.)
Rep. Schakowsky of Illinois has a plan which she offered to Pres Obama's debt elimination committee. I wrote about some of it earlier this week. Keep Social Security intact, extend unemployment insurance coverage, prevent changes in the Medicare system, increasing military pay and health benefits- all are economically feasible under Schakowsky's plan.
But the Republicans, Tea Partiers and conservative Democrats are out to prove to their super rich and other non-thinking supporters that no amount of money is too much to give them. They are determined to chase Mitch McConnell's goal of making every day of President Obama's next two years bitter and his last, regardless of who gets hurt or why.