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What left wants: A vote only on making middle class tax cuts permanent

By Greg Sargent

One topic that's getting lost in all the noise over whether Obama did or didn't signal a cave on the Bush tax cuts is this: The legislative options Dems actually have at their disposal to force the issue and make it work in their favor.

Specifically: Dems could still hold a vote only on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts permanently, without tying it to any vote on the high end cuts. That, at any rate, is what some on the left are pushing for, arguing that it's a good way for Dems to use their remaining control over the legislative agenda to their advantage.

Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee spells out the case in an email:

The path forward on tax cuts is obvious: Schedule one vote, and one vote only, on renewing the middle class tax cuts for 98% of Americans and dare the Republicans to vote against it. Republicans will either cave or end their post-election honeymoon by pitting themselves against 98% of Americans.That's how you fight and put Republicans on defense.

The basic concept here is this: While it's nice to hear Dems talk about what they do and don't support, all the chatter is largely meaningless until they translate their professed goals into an actual tactical and legislative strategy.

The immediate objections to this particular maneuver are obvious. First, House Dems declined to do this before the election, because they worried enough moderate Dems would vote against it -- out of fear of being tagged as tax hikers -- to prevent it from passing. So why would they do it now? Well, the post-election dynamic is different: Moderates are no longer facing an election and some are even headed for private life. There's no downside for them in doing this vote, the argument runs.

What's more, it's not even clear how many moderates would, in the end, vote against a permanent middle class tax cut. There's precedent for believing that if people are forced to vote on something like this, they will fall into line.

A second possible objection: It would be filibustered by Republicans in the Senate. The counter-argument here from folks like Green is: So? Bring it on. Force them to make that choice. A GOP filibuster of a permanent middle class tax cut extension can only be good for Democrats. Proponents of this argument point out that Republicans have struggled to respond in the past when faced with a possible vote on just the middle class cuts. Recall, for instance, that John Boehner signaled openness to supporting such a move, if it came to it, before quickly walking it back.

A third possible objection: House GOPers could respond with a procedural move that would force Dems to either agree or disagree to a vote also on extending the high end ones. I have not heard that third objection answered convincingly, though it may well have been somewhere.

My bet is that such a vote won't happen. Dems will be wary of throwing their weight around after their shellacking, because Republicans will be able to point to it as proof that Dems are ignoring the message the American people sent them on election day. Dems didn't take this route before; they are unlikely to do so now. But that doesn't mean it's not worth talking about.


UPDATE, 4:17 p.m.: In just one day, over 100,000 people signed a PCCC petition urging Obama to "fight, not cave" on the tax cut fight.


By Greg Sargent  | November 12, 2010; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Next: AFL-CIO calls on Dems to vote on just middle class tax cuts

Comments

Thanks for this posting, Greg. It is utterly frustrating, but at least someone is making some sense.

It's mind numbing to hear all this talk about deficits and the first thing they want to do is drill us a hole for the Bush tax cuts. Do words even have any meaning the FoxNews era? Or is the plutocracy so set in that whatever rich folks want, rich folks get?

It's all very frustrating.

Posted by: Alex3 | November 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Or they could let all the "Bush Tax Cuts" expire, as the mostly Republican congresscritters who passed them in the first place intended.

We can't afford them, we never could. While I get that this blog post is more about the political horse race part of the debate than the policy implications, we shouldn't forget how the cuts were passed and why they were passed the way they were.

Since we are focusing on the political implications, does anyone really think that if Obama extends all or part of these fiscally unsound tax cuts that he will get ANY credit for doing so? 95% of Americans got a tax cut as part of the stimulus and yet most people think Obama raised taxes. The "Bush Tax Cuts" will not be renamed "The Obama Tax Cuts" after extension either; the credit for the tax cuts, will, as always, accrue to the GOP.

Let them expire as the GOP intended then make the GOP push for new (I'm guessing similar) tax cuts, and the 4 trillion dollar budget hole they will create.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Adam Green's proposal is perfect. Is Pelosi and Reid listening?

Posted by: dozas | November 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

As indicated by Hans, so long as the tax cuts are called an extension or renewal or whatever of the Bush Tax Cuts, there is no political benefit to the Dems. Any new proposal should be entirely different, using different rates, reasons and strata of taxpayers. That assumes, of course, that further tax relief is good policy at all, a point that is far from clear.

It seems to me that it is time to shake things up a bit - to make a bold proposal - to significantly alter the dialogue concerning this issue so that the meme regarding the Democrats failure to "focus" on jobs can be put to rest once and for all.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 12, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Supply side politics, it is a sign of the times the left even has a position on how best to starve the beast. Deficit? What deficit? Fiscal conservatives? **crickets**

We've talked about it for days, but this pump isn't going to be primed. Consumers are not going to spend us out of this recession, everyone agrees on that.

Let the tax cuts expire, that is the conservative thing to do, as in conserving our ability to pay as we go, conserving our solvency. Tax cuts don't make the government spend less, they make it borrow more, which means higher taxes...later.

You make the government spend less by stopping the war budget, cutting the America polices the world budget and the entitlements. Since no one will agree on what entitlements to cut, then just like states are doing, roll everything back 5-10% and let the agencies sort out how they are going to do that (except Medi&Medi payments to doctors of course, I'm with that staunch fiscal conservative Rand Paul in this regard, those need to be increased, doctors got to get paid!)

Posted by: shrink2 | November 12, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg

Do you remember the 33 House democrats who wrote the letter saying that they would not support such a vote???

Now that some of them lost their elections, do you think they are in the mood to help Nancy Pelosi and Obama, the two people responsible for them losing their jobs?

Their staffs are looking for other jobs.

ALL the democratic committee staff in the House is wondering if they are going to have a job under the new minority, which has less staff.


___________________


In the midst of all this, you think that a vote on SOCIALIST tax brackets - and class warfare is a good idea???


That sends a message more than anything.

In addition, that vote would be to RAISE TAXES ON THE ECONOMY AS A WHOLE $700 BILLION IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION.


And that is after the $500-$700 Billion in insurance premium increases which have sapped the economy.


The plan does not work in this Economic Environment.

The democrats could lose the next election right here in now - in PROVING that they really do not know how to handle the economy.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"ignoring the message the American people sent them on election day"

The Republicans have been doing just that for two years now. Maybe some Democrat could point that out sometime.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | November 12, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Andy

The American People have now made clear that the interpretation that the democrats claimed about the 2008 election was wrong.


The Republicans now have the mandate.


The democrats have been told clearly (again) that the American People do NOT want their far-left agenda.


This piece is debating whether to try to push through another part of the far-left agenda in this environment - it would look really stupid.


AND one forgets that the Mark Kirk election in Illinois means that the democrat need 2 extra votes for closture now and that will be difficult - you aren't going to find Republicans willing to go against their leadership after an election like this.


Do you really think you will?


The democrats should concentrate on unemployment insurance extensions for as long as they can get

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

This argument is only true if you assume that the American people wouldnt see through the shallow politics of forcing a vote under those conditions. If republicans filibuster, its not because they are against the middle class, its because the bill doesnt go far enough (familiar argument?). And people know this. They arent stupid. Democrats define their actions on the basis that people are stupid. Its not true.

And if Republicans vote yes on middle class extensions, they can also submit legislation in January to extend other brackets, and have a liklihood of passing that as well.

Bottom line, democrats forcing a votye under those conditions is not a tax extension, its a class war extension. Is that what the democratic policy is?

Posted by: the_truth_about | November 12, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Greg - I don't suppose you (or Ezra) could put together a compilation of the various stated reasons for the Bush Tax cuts, spouted by Republicans, at the time of passage?

Because I'm betting that hindsight will show us that the Bush Tax Cuts were passed based upon faulty premises. Indeed, I remember some of the reasons, but I don't want to paraphrase and I lack the time to google up the quotes.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 12, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"What the Left wants"


What about "What the American People want"


When has governing abandoned "doing the people's business" and "Representing the People"


And become all about the "left's agenda"

All solid questions.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it makes sense at least to try this. If Democrats let all of the tax cuts expire, we know with certainty that the House GOP in the next session will bring up a bill to reinstate the tax cuts for everyone (i.e., including the rich). If Democrats vote against such a bill, the GOP will tell middle-class Americans, "The Democrats voted against giving you tax relief." If Democrats can extend the middle-class tax cuts during the lame duck session, then they can vote against a Republican bill in the next Congress that focuses on tax cuts for higher income Americans.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 12, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't think holding a vote on making only the middle class rates permanent will help the Dems.

House Reps either can vote Yea or No knowing that the Senate will filibuster either way. The cuts will then expire and the Dems can use this against the GOP for - oh - 30 days or so (and over the holidays).

At the start of the next congress the House GOP can put forth a new bill making all of those previous rates permanent (and with a retroactive check). If Senate Dems want to filibuster that bill then it is the GOP that can use it against the Dems for two years.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"you think that a vote on SOCIALIST tax brackets"


You think returning to the tax bracket of the Clinton administration is socialist?

Simply dumbfunding that you can type these sort of things presumably with a straight face.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Bearclaw1 - Even if the Democrats extend all of the tax cuts the Republicans will still say, "Democrats voted against giving you tax relief."

That it is NOT true makes no difference.

Indeed, if all the tax cuts expire the votes FOR them to expire will have been provided by Republicans at the time when the tax cuts were passed. All that is required for the tax cuts to expire is for the Congress to do nothing. No vote, other than the vote of many years ago by mostly Republicans, will be needed.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I simply must ask this question. The draft Obama proposed 2011 budget contains many changes in taxes--I've seen lists of a dozen and, at Tax Policy Center, about 30. ONE of these proposed changes concerns the top marginal tax bracket rates for those earning above $250,000. So, the question: what about all those other proposed changes?

Posted by: pjro | November 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

All that is required for the tax cuts to expire is for the Congress to do nothing. No vote, other than the vote of many years ago by mostly Republicans, will be needed.

Posted by: HansSolo
++++++++++++

And then in the new Congress, the GOP controls the House, where tax and appropriations bills are introduced. The GOP will immediately push a bill to reinstitute the tax cuts, for everyone.

My point is that the Democrats are better off trying to do something for the middle class now, than simply accepting that a few months from now they will be faced with an "up or down" vote on reinstituting all of the tax cuts.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

This sounds very interesting:

Say that instead of appointing a bipartisan commission you appoint two partisan commissions. In January, Democratic leaders appoint the Democratic Fiscal Commission and Republican leaders appoint the Republican Fiscal Commission. Both commissions work, roughly in secret, for months. Then on Labor Day 2011, both commissions release their plans and on Election Day 2011 the American people vote in a binding referendum for either the Dem Plan or the Republican Plan.

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/finding-better-routes-to-compromise/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 12, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

When Obama comes back from his vacation, Obama is going to be touching down in a political environment vastly different than the one he left.


Obama has been marginalized and his agenda has been left in a ditch.


Obama is a lame duck.


The only way for Obama to not be a lame duck is to make himself relevant - which means make himself useful to the process of compromise.


That means the leftist agenda is finished, forever. The Republicans have a veto over everything that Obama wants to do.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

prag,

A "binding referendum"? Where exactly does that appear in the Constitution?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 12, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Why, oh why, would anyone believe that any tax cuts are "permanent"?

Just read the liberals spouting off here. They absolutely can't satiate their desire to spend other people's money.

they've urged the fools in the white house to grow the government far beyond the size and scope acceptable to much of America. they got trounced in an election due to this. Yet they cannot stop. They now demand that we pay more to the government to support their madness!

the liberals are counting on all of America becoming co-dependant. That is they are convinced they can fool us into believing that if they get this one more fix, they'll stop shooting up that heroin.
Yeah, right.

Here's their proposition: If we just give them the tax money from the "rich", who are hated by everybody anyway, then they'll have enough and tranquility will prevail.

No it won't. Not ever. This is an addiction and we're dealing with lefty addicts. They will never, ever, ever, spend enough of other people's money. Never.

If we give them this, they will be back for more. Here's proof from Hanssolo:
"We can't afford them, we never could"

so just give the Democrats in DC our money. More and more, year after year. They are only asking for a bit, and only from some folks that few of us like anyway. That will satisfy their craving forever (that's what permanent means boys and girls).

What right minded American would ever believe that? We're talking about the left here. This is the group that firmly believes that their programs haven't failed. We just didn't spend enough on them!

Now we're supposed to believe that they will NEVER ask for a tax hike again until the end of time?

As "the_truth_about" rightly indicates: we're not stupid.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 12, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It is going to be interesting

The question is what is the best stance for the democrats to put forth to the American People

And what does the left want - those are two different things

.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"...the message the American people sent them on election day."

I thought the message for the Dems was "Grow a spine and start fighting for what you believe in" not "Abandon the middle-class and disenfranchised by capitulating to the corporations and wall street".

Every move to the Right by the Dems just further alienates the progressive base. Don't take your base for granted - "Vote for us because we suck less" isn't going to get anyone elected.

Posted by: kmy042 | November 12, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Details, bearclaw, details.

Isn't it in the Commerce Clause?

;)

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 12, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

As "the_truth_about" rightly indicates: we're not stupid.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 12, 2010 2:01 PM
============================

Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result = insanity.

You keep voting for Republicans, expecting fiscal responsibility? You're not stupid, you're insane.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | November 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Every LEFTIST "want" should be completely rejected, every time out, from now on.

It's all these LEFTIST "wants" that has brought the once great, Democrat party to it's knees in almost total, crushing defeat, time after time.

LEFTIST pinheads have been driving normal Democrats into the arms of Republicans for about 50 years now. This is a proven fact and has reduced the Democrat party from a permanent, majority party to a semi-permanent, minority party.

"The Attack of Barack and the Pelosites" is but another chapter in this long running serial.

When will it end??

Posted by: battleground51 | November 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"There's no downside for them in doing this vote, the argument runs."

This discounts the "spite" factor. The moderates took some tough votes for Speaker Pelosi and some won't be coming back. While there's no downside, she can't offer them anything either.

"House GOPers could respond with a procedural move that would force Dems to either agree or disagree to a vote also on extending the high end ones"

Probably a motion to recommit with
instructions to report back “forthwith.” This would allows any language that amends the D's bill to be included in
the motion to be adopted immediately without the measure leaving the House floor. If it passes, they could find themselves extending all the tax cuts or pulling the bill entirely.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

This is just so ridiculous, it is impossible to even respond:

so just give the Democrats in DC our money. More and more, year after year.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 12, 2010 2:01 PM

Sure skip, "we're not stupid."

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 12, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The only question for Republicans: Are you one of the deceived or one of the deceivers.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 12, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Does it make any SENSE at all to raise taxes on the exact people who are at the center of job creation in this country???


For the sake of some left-wing agenda which has no gounding in economics or ecnomic growth?


This liberal agenda item threatens economic growth - why ANYONE in the country would want this is beyond me.


The most important thing right now is getting the economy back to work.

NOT this liberal, class-warfare crap.

.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What makes anyone think that the republic party is anymore inclined to vote for something that democrats want than they were before the election.

Republicans will, indeed, filibuster any vote in the lame duck session that only includes extending the middle-class cuts, promising that once they're in power, they will extend ALL the cuts. Come January 22nd or so, they'll do it, and DARE the democrats to vote against tax cuts.

Yeah, great plan, Adam. Next time, try to think a little harder and a little longer. But it's not exactly what your ilk are known for, is it?

Posted by: converse | November 12, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Egregious insult aside, I have no trust in the old line Republicans at all. In fact few of us on the right do.

I offer as proof a cartoon by Michael Ramirez from November 8. It shows a huge eagle with the word "voters" displayed prominently. this eagle is nose to nose with an elephant in a blue suit that displays "GOP". the elephant is saying "Uh, thanks, Gulp"

That is exactly what I'm thinking. The Republicans strayed before and we're watching them more closely this time. This brings up two huge problems. First, most of us have better things to do than harrangue an errant politician. Next, it is clear to me that DC itself is broken, perhaps beyond repair. Power, after all corrupts.

Unlike the various groups that vote democrat we conservatives won't stay on the republican plantation. For recent proof ask Mike Dewine. Or better yet, ask Bush the elder.

so spare me the insult. I believe that my observation concerning the left's addiction is true and you did nothing to prove otherwise.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 12, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Battleground is sounding a lot like that wackjob Allen West:

He said he wanted people, especially those “on the left,’’ to understand that Kaufman would continue “to fight on your battlefield’’ here, and he “will fight them on the battlefield in Washington, D.C., and we will meet in the middle after we soundly defeat them both.’’

The Congressman-elect said he’s now “even more focused that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable machine that’s out there is soundly brought to its knees. You don’t have to worry about me doing the right thing in Washington, D.C.’’

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/12/west-violent-rhetoric/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 12, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The premier piece of legislation that the Obama/Pelosi, lame ducks will be able to cram through just may be the one that homosexualizes America's armed forces.

ObamaHillaryCare and "gay" marines!!

What a legacy those guys have got.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 12, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Does it make any SENSE at all to raise taxes on the exact people who are at the center of job creation in this country???


For the sake of some left-wing agenda which has no gounding in economics or ecnomic growth?


This liberal agenda item threatens economic growth - why ANYONE in the country would want this is beyond me.


The most important thing right now is getting the economy back to work.

NOT this liberal, class-warfare crap.

.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

All, this is important: The AFL-CIO has now come out and endorsed this approach:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/afl-cio_calls_on_dems_to_vote.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 12, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

To Summarize:

Proposing that people making over $250,000 pay taxes at the level they did in the 90s makes democrats socialists and means we despise the rich and wish to punish them for their success.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 12, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I sense a trend here amongst *certain* of our brethren of the right-wing variety of increasing rhetorical histrionics.

Interesting developmant.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 12, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark at 2:50 PM

correct

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is mobilized to save the upper income earners from destitute, even as with a little help from the Robert's Court and $4 Billion election expenses they are going to get $700 Billion back to invest in India. never mind the deficit, we can cut food stamps, Medicare, and SS; the exacting price of running like a herd of wildebeest to elect Republicans because we were too dumb to read the legislation achievements of the President & the Democrats.

Posted by: julianzs | November 12, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the double standard beloved of the liberals rears its ugly head.

Allen West talks tough and the left can't accept that. Meanwhile they demand that the Democrats in congress, and Obama himself, fight!

Here's an example, from this very thread:
" thought the message for the Dems was "Grow a spine and start fighting for what you believe in" not "Abandon the middle-class and disenfranchised by capitulating to the corporations and wall street"."

So it is OK for the Democrats and the left to fight, but not for the Republicans and the right? Really? Who says?

Just like it is completely appropriate for the left to hold rallies in the streets, but not OK for the right to do the same.

Not a chance. The left thought it had exclusive use of emotion as a weapon. Not so much it seems.

And yes, Mr West is right in his depiction of DC. Name calling by liberals is a sure sign of that.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Make it two votes. Make them get on record as to for or against the middle class tax cut extensions, and a second vote for or against upper class tax extensions.

This shouldn't be about the left, right, middle, dem or rep agenda. It doesn't have to be class warfare. There is a case for both situations so let them make their case. No need to combine them and make them fight each other.

Posted by: kyle67 | November 12, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Raising taxes, anybodies taxes during a recession is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!
Does Obama want a DEPRESSION?

Posted by: blhfish | November 12, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@oc: you are losing it...what is a socialist vs a capitalist marginal tax rate? There is no such thing...every industrial democracy is a mixed economy with both "socialist" and capitalist aspects. If you don't acknowledge this, you are confirming yourself as a citizen of farrightwingnutistan. Unless you think that social security, medicaid, and medicare should be abolished, you are embracing socialism...

"Does it make any SENSE at all to raise taxes on the exact people who are at the center of job creation in this country???"

I don't think that the s corps called dick cheney or george bush create many jobs, but they will get huge tax cuts if we change the law that was passed while they were in power. Why weren't the tax cuts made permanent when they were passed? because they exploded the deficit and they weren't popular enough to pass without reconciliation. Somehow all you repub fiscal conservatives have a bad case of 8 year amnesia. Clinton left surpluses and Bush turned them into deficits and crashed the economy and financial sector. It is going to take at least 4 years to dig out of the giant hole we are in. Bush cut taxes after we were at war, unprecedented. I didn't see very many republicans voting against any of the budget busting bush budgets. I didn't hear them screaming when the wars were kept off budget for the entire bush debacle...

Posted by: srw3 | November 12, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I stand firmly in the middle class though I probably barely qualify. My wife and I are raising 2 kids outside of San Francisco on one income-a shade under $50,000 a year; a decent income until you talk about cost-of-living. We own a home we bought 5 years ago near the top of the market and that is nearly $200,000 underwater. As I listen to members of the left talk about soaking the rich for more taxes and how the wealth should pay more I can only wonder why success means they should support me. I wasn't forced to buy my home and there certainly was never guarantee I would make a profit from it but I hear so many people talk as though someone owes them something. I signed the loan for that home-whether I understood what I signed or not-that's MY responsibility and folks need to remember that. Right or wrong America is and should remain a country based on the idea of oppurtunity rather than entitlement.

Posted by: my97f3 | November 12, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't think people have any idea what job creation is all about. They think government versus rich people, either, making the rich richer will create jobs or making the government richer will.

This is not true. Very rich communists, kings, you name it, they don't create jobs, government does not create jobs no matter how rich it gets. Same with the rich. All of human history is the story of what the people who concentrate all the wealth do. Creating jobs: not a priority.

This is not an either or problem. This is a question of what America wants to do with itself. Our families generated the largest (as a proportion of gdp) middle class in the history of nations.

They used a variety of methods including hard work, slavery, expeditionary colonialism, thrift, collective bargaining, immigration, freedom to invent and improvise, the luck of an easily conquered land stuffed with resources and a temperate climate, religious freedom, English law and customs guaranteeing wealth fungibility for all persons, to be specific.

Stop arguing about whether or not even richer rich people will create jobs. They won't. It is much more complicated than that.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 12, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

can any republican please tell me how the tax cuts are going to create jobs?people seem to forget the ultra rich have had these tax cuts for the last 10 years under a 2 term republican president and yet we have the worst unemployment since the great depression.how about a major tax cut for people like myself who make under $50,000 per year with no health coverage or paid sick days?it`s like going to a zoo and seeing 2 cages with one monkey that has so many bannanas he regurgitates them just to eat a new one,while the other monkey is starving.c`mon rich people it`s time to help out so us commoners can buy things from your companies,hotels etc and then you will be even richer!

Posted by: mikemo172 | November 12, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The trouble with the Bush tax cuts are that they are the Bush tax cuts. They were always designed to benefit the wealthiest Americans while the average American actually got very little. It's time to dump them all.

Instead, we should have a payroll tax holiday. Those who pay the payroll tax would be relieved of paying it, and those who don't pay it get nothing.

The problem is the Democrats are playing on the Republican's turn. They need to reframe the debate. Until they do so, they will lose.

Posted by: highplainslawyer1 | November 12, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse


You know what You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://bit.ly/bandYw .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: patriciajeff13 | November 13, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

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