fresh voices from the front lines of change







This week the House, like the Senate last week, is expected to vote on competing tax bills: a Democratic proposal that would allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire as scheduled while extending them for the middle-class, and a Republican proposal that will keep the Bush tax cut party going for America’s millionaires.

The Republican bill is expected to not only extend the low income tax rates for the wealthy, but also the absurdly low estate tax rate where multi-millionaire heirs get their first $5 million tax-free.

Who is going to make out like bandits if the Republican bill becomes law? Mitt Romney and his five sons, of course.

Romney’s wealthy is an estimated $230 million, not counting the $100 million trust he has set aside for his brood.

Of course, no one is going to pass the bill just to shovel more millions into Romney’s Swiss bank account (cheap shot!).

But Romney is the personification of who the Republican Party believes should be blessed with low taxes.

He is one of the “job creators” whom we must provide the “incentive” to succeed, even if it makes it harder to cut our long-term budget deficits or pay for public infrastructure, teachers and clean energy.

If Romney had to pay higher income taxes, then he wouldn’t bother investing in the innovative new ideas that grow the economy. If he can’t give his children all of his accumulated wealth without them having to earn it, then he wouldn’t have any interest in succeeding in the first place.

The funny thing is: while Republicans love talking about “job creators” and “death taxes,” they don’t seem very interested in using the perfect example of Mitt Romney to make their case.

Why is that?

Finding a personal example to make one’s case is the holy grail of politics. Why bore everybody with a bunch of numbers, when you can tell a compelling story!

Do they think it would be hard to argue that someone who parks his cash in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Island — while the low Bush tax cuts are in effect — is a “job creator” who deserves special treatment?

Do they think it would be hard to argue that someone who doesn’t have a job, yet uses his fortune to make a bigger fortune, is all that interested in creating jobs for others with his fortune?

Do they think it would be hard to argue that if each of his sons gets a $15 million inheritance, the rest of us will be happy too because we’ll also get something — more “incentive” to succeed?

If the Republican proposal is so great, they should be thrilled at the chance to show us how cutting Mitt Romney’s taxes helps America.

If they don’t, maybe it’s because it won’t.

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