fresh voices from the front lines of change







I wrote the following last month after the Senate voted on competing tax plans, but it also helps to put Mitt Romney's "47%" comments in further context.


It is often stated as fact that Democrats always want to raise taxes and Republicans always want to lower taxes.

We now know this to be false.

Nearly every Republican in the Senate, nearly every Republican in the House and the Republican nominee for President Mitt Romney, all support tax plans which would cut taxes for the 2% of households that earn more than $250,000, but also raise taxes on millions of Americans among the poor and middle class.

Meanwhile, Democrats recently passed tax cuts designed for the poor and middle class only, in President's Obama recession-stopping Recovery Act.

And Congress could have easily extended both the Bush and Obama tax cuts for those in the 98% … if the House Republicans didn't just reject the Senate Democratic bill.

Republicans have been alluding to their belief that rich people pay too much and poor people pay too little for some time, without being blunt enough to get into trouble. "47% of Americans don't pay income taxes" they cry, "broaden the base."

Instead of acknowledging the payroll, state and local taxes that most still pay, Republicans have tried to suggest that lower-income people are getting a free ride, while the wealthy "job creators" need special treatment or else they'll have no choice but to park their money overseas and create jobs somewhere else.

But now it's no longer mere coded rhetoric. Republicans have put it in writing.

The House Republican bill. The Senate Republican bill. The Republican presidential nominee's plan. They all "broaden the base." They all make the poor and the middle class pay more -- despite having an economy with weak demand. They all take money from the 98% and give it to the 2%.

The Democratic vision on taxes is a different one, progressive, fair and sufficient to invest in America's foundation of infrastructure, education, energy and health.

We have a choice. Now we know.


Also, of possible interest, here's my post from last year: "Higher Taxes On The Working Poor And Middle Class? Why Conservatives Have Lost Their Minds, And The Public."

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