To paraphrase from the great William Shakespeare…
Bush Tax Cuts, or Obama Tax Cuts? That is the question.
What’s in a name? That which we call a tax cut By any other name would smell as sweet.
But unfortunately for one political party, it simply doesn’t work that way. The “Bush Tax Cuts” are now much more than a name for the Republicans… they are are a legacy, and a philosophy. For the Republican party in the twenty-first century, the BUSH Tax Cuts have really been the central orb around which all Conservative fiscal policy gravitates. Lest we forget that Democrats now have greater advantage as the party of the new, more diverse America, the party of foreign policy, and the party of defending minority and women’s rights. Fiscal Conservatism is the only real game Republicans have left. Never mind that President Obama has already cut government spending by 1.5 Trillion Dollars and continues to argue for a balanced approach, proving more fiscally Conservative than his GOP predecessors. Hell or high water, Republicans believe in tax cuts. It is their Raison d’etre.
Which is why it may surprise some that House Republicans have continued to be so adamant against the President’s plan to preserve tax cuts for ALL Americans on their first $250,00 dollars of income (that’s right… EVERYONE still gets a tax cut!!). It is quite literally a chance to preserve the GOP’s false identity as the party of lower taxes and cutting spending. This is what’s important about having the name BUSH associated with TAX CUTS.
Here lies the ultimate quagmire for Republicans in the House… come January 1st, that legacy of the BUSH TAX CUTS and of Republicans being exclusively known as “the tax cut party” dies. If they don’t reach a deal to extend the BUSH Tax Cuts, they lose the name Bush forever from the measure. Any tax cuts they pass in 2013 would then be forever known as the OBAMA TAX CUTS. Talk about a tough pill to swallow… do Republicans in this really want to be remembered as the ones who created the Obama Tax Cuts??
As lawmakers, we should expect that Republicans and Democrats don’t care about nomenclature… they care about doing what’s right for the American People. But sadly, this has not been the case at all during the Obama era. The GOP fought this President’s agenda at every chance. They crippled the Senate with filibuster abuse, held the country hostage over the debt ceiling, and basically prolonged the economic Recession by refusing to make any public sector contribution to the Recovery… all in the hope of weakening President Obama, and his chances for re-election. None of it worked.
For all of that malice, November 6th was their reward. There will be no President Romney, and (barring an unprecedented catastrophy that none would hope for) no chance of any Republican taking the White House before January of 2017.
So Democrats… if you want a deal to happen before the beginning of the year that raises tax rates on the wealthy and does not cut social programs, pressure the GOP with their impossible choice. Do they extend the Bush Tax Cuts now for 98 percent of the country, or do they erase the Bush/GOP legacy and CREATE the Obama Tax Cuts later?
For the GOP, it has come to this.