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Posted at 7:02 AM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Republicans ignore the American people on tax cuts for wealthy

By Jonathan Capehart

Flush with victory on Election night, John Boehner talked about how the new Republican majority was the voice of the American people and how President Obama needed to listen to them and "change course." Watch for yourself (start at 0:50).

The people's priorities will be our priorities. And the people's agenda will be our agenda. This is our pledge to America and this is our pledge to you.

...but make no mistake. The president will find in our new majority the voice of the American people as they've expressed it tonight. Standing on principle, checking Washington's power and leading the drive to a smaller, less costly and more accountable government....Because we are humbled by the trust that the American people have placed in us and we recognize that with this trust comes the responsibility to listen and listen we will.

Well, it didn't take long for the Republican Party to ignore the American people. According to a Bloomberg National poll released on Dec. 8, "only a third of Americans support keeping the lower rates for the highest earners." What's more, the Bloomberg poll notes, "Even among backers of the cuts for the wealthy, fewer than half say they should be made permanent."

During his press conference Wednesday where he defended the deal with Republicans to temporarily extend all of the Bush tax cuts, President Obama declared, "[T]he fact of the matter is the American people already agree with me. There are polls showing right now that the American people, for the most part, think it's a bad idea to provide tax cuts to the wealthy." Score one for the hostages.

So, the next time you hear the Republican leadership claiming to be the voice of the people, here's your two-word rejoinder courtesy of Speaker-designate Boehner: "chicken crap."

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 9, 2010; 7:02 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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And who's surprised?

Posted by: martymar123 | December 9, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I guess that's on what a moron focuses, a little game of gotcha. How about the fact that 47% pay no federal income taxes. An entire class of no stakes voters who will continue to empower the Other Peoples' Money Party to keep heaping goodies on the recipient class. This is the true systemic fiscal danger to the country, not whether marginal rates on higher incomes are more or less 2%. Dude, "compassion" with other peoples' money is not a virtue. You are the spewer of chicken crap.

Posted by: alexandria6351 | December 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't make much difference what the Republicans say... they've been scamming voters for two generations. The MUCH more important issue is that the president is letting them get away with these actions.

I am NOT convinced that holding the legislative bodies in session until Christmas Eve for a fairer tax agreement would not have been more successful than capitulation to hostage taking.

Posted by: CardFan | December 9, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I guess that's on what a moron focuses, a little game of gotcha. How about the fact that 47% pay no federal income taxes.Posted by: alexandria6351

Another PRO SLAVERY REPUBLICAN complaining..

Posted by: monstermash | December 9, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think the more important point is that both the GOP and the President are ignoring liberals like Capeheart who doesn't know that having taxes go up in an economy on the brink of recession would trigger it.

Posted by: bbface21 | December 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Capehart, you can pick and choose your criticisms based on your preferences, but it harms your credibility. So, two thirds want to fleece the top 1%? Shocker. They have no skin in the game. But what about the majority of Americans who profess a distaste for gay marriage? Or affirmative action/racial preferences in school admissions? I believe you would argue those are issues of principle, majorities be damned. Those of us on the right feel the same way about taxes. Is that so hard to understand? I actually find it encouraging that one third of Americans can resist the urge to confiscate additional wealth from the highest earners.

Posted by: NNevada | December 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"47% pay no federal income taxes"

*sigh* simple thoughts to occupy simple minds...

Look closer at this talking point and you can see the TAX reality. With soaring incomes, reduced marginal rates and a government they have bought and paid for (see all the new lobbyists being named to staff teaparty electees), you might as well say America has disolved the social contract and stuck us middle class earners all with a bunch of debt we did not incur.

Understated incomes, offshoring of income and accounts, "paper losses" and "off-balance-sheet accounting" makes your 47% look different like the same 47% UNDERPAYING federal income taxes, while ALL AMERICANS pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes (even for the landlord) and fees that have kept them from realizing any significant economic gains in 25 years or more.

The whole concept of the Social Contract is held in contempt by those spouting this "one-liner" while watching the country close its doors of opportunity and pave the road for billionaires- clueless that without a middle class, their very economy is at risk.

You loaned those poor middle class folks enough to get back in the poker game, but now they're broke AGAIN. This game will surely end badly.

Posted by: rowens1 | December 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Don't you love how Rethuglicans will invoke the "will of the majority" on issues like gay marriage, but become deafeningly anti majority when it comes to war or taxes for the wealthy? Flipping hypocrites!

Posted by: twnctyguy | December 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse


Maybe simple minds occupy themselves with simple thoughts, but people with minds know how to read. I specify - federal income tax. You can claim all you want about the "wealthy" gaming the system, that still does not negate the fact the "wealthy" pay most of the income taxes. In fact, you make a good argument for the fair or flat tax, which would be less easily gamed. Also, a simpler system less riddled with loopholes and exceptions would blunt the power of the lobbies, thereby making government less apt to by bought and sold. Nevertheless, the current system where half of the country has no skin in the income tax game is a much greater fiscal peril - only the simple-minded fail to see that.

@monstermash - I fail to see what my post has to do with slavery, How about an explanation, Slick? Of course, if you want to prevent yourself from looking like a dope, you might consider refraining.

Posted by: alexandria6351 | December 9, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

twnctyguy: actually, the "hypocrite" charge works both ways, if you will look at my prior post. And unlike you, I refrain from insulting Capehart with gratuitous insults. I merely point out that his invoking majority will in this case, while dismissing it in others, harms his credibility. The whole point is that people who take principled stands need to defend their ideas on principle, not on how big their cheerleading squad is.

Posted by: NNevada | December 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

How about the fact that 47% pay no federal income taxes.


How about the fact that some of those folks are millionaires?

Posted by: zakany | December 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

alexandria6351- Here's a simple thought for your mind: If the trendline of 21st century capitalism continues its relentless consolidation of wealth into fewer and fewer hands, and if those unable to compete are left with nothing but a deflated value for their labor, how will the precious game continue? Give them some more debt? Punish them with blame and austerity? Who will buy your products and services when the economic dynamo that was American Capitalism loses the middle class engine?

Why do you think we are in debt? Tax cuts and Wars? Extra engines for the grossly overbudget F35 (so Virginia can pretend it like "small government"? Corporations that brag huge profits and then pay ZERO income taxes?

What percent of America do you hate the most?

Posted by: rowens1 | December 9, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If you want majority rule, the majority don't want gay marriage. The majority don't want Obamacare.

When it becomes a majority that pay no income tax, the sky's the limit on those who do.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | December 9, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The reson that "45%" pay no income tax (assuming they are not weathly people with good accountants) is that they make so little money that an income tax would drasticly reduce their ability to eat, have a roof over their heads, and provide for their children. people making minimum wage are making about $1200/month How can you tax them and expect them to live. If you want a "fair" tax then ok but it has to come with a "fair" living wage. If your corperate masters would do thier patriotic duty and employ Americans at wages that give them purcasing power. Exxon made more money durring the a tanking global economy than any corperation ever recorded (this includes world powers like the dutch east indies company adjusted for inflation)if they would share this massive wealth with their workers then we could talk about a flat tax. when you are 5% of you paycheck away from not paying your rent a 10% tax is in no way fair.

Posted by: srl51676 | December 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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