The Senate voted in favor of a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts, and also a package of tax cuts and credits for America’s impoverished middle class. Also in the package is ethanol subsidies and a 13-month reauthorization of unemployment insurance (read Tax Cuts for Rich Move Forward in Senate).
Keep in mind our government is running a $13.8 trillion deficit. Do you think I’m lying? Do you want to see the deficit climb higher as you read this? (click here) Anyway, we will get to why the deficit is important.
The final Senate vote was 83-15 (2 not voting). Nine Democrats and five Republicans voted against the bill, as did Independent Bernie Sanders. (Watch Bernie tell the American people why this bill is absolutely destructive to the middle class in a 9 hour “Bernie-buster”; click here).
A few notable Democrat senators not participating in the bipartisan orgy whipped up by President Obama and the GOP were Russ Feingold (Wisc.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Mark Udall (Colo), and Pat Leahy (Vt.). These were the few brave enough to say: This is a bad deal for 97% of Americans. We’re not going to stand for it. We’re going to get a better bill.
(for more about the bipartisan orgy, read Obama & GOP Whip Up Giant Bi-Partisan Dollar-Sucking Orgy to Celebrate Wealthiest Americans)
The rest of the Senators either don’t care about the middle class, or enjoy bipartisan orgies celebrating wealthy Americans. I hate to be so cynical about this, but it’s true. Obama and the GOP whipped up a very poor deal for those of us unlucky enough to not make more than $250,000 / year, and for those of us unfortunate enough to not have a job. (Keith Olbermann, even if you hate him, lays out the tax bill’s ‘deal’ pretty eloquently-watch here).
After it’s all said and done, this bill is bad for you. And for me. When the Bush tax cuts expire again, in two years, the Republicans are sure to push for another extension. If they’re holding Obama and the American people hostage this time, they’re going to do it again in two years.
And . Out of the $800 billion in tax cuts, the middle class gets roughly $200 billion of it, spread through the majority of the population, while the remaining $600 billion is spread to the top 2-3 percent of wage earners. Does that sound fair?
Also, in a CBS poll, 54% of Americans don’t want tax cuts for the rich, but only for the middle class, and 14% don’t want tax cuts for anybody. That’s 67% of Americans saying they don’t want tax cuts for the rich. Can you hear that President Obama? Those polled must not have understood the bill’s details well enough.
Robert Gibbs (Obama’s jester), says the bill is fair. Bernie Sanders says it’s not. Gibbs and Obama tell us that we just don’t understand the bill well enough. That’s their defense. They’ve been relying on that for some time. It’s OK, trust us, you just can’t figure out the gross complexities and subtleties of this bill.
Ryan Grim writes at the Huffington Post that the “tax deal reached between President Obama and congressional Republicans could mean a higher tax bill for roughly one in three workers as a result of the Social Security tax cut Republicans pushed as a replacement for the current Making Work Pay tax credit (read article here).
What is even more offensive (and here is where the orgy gets really hot) is the $25 billion which will be pumped to only 6,600 families. That is part of the estate-tax portion of the bill. The provision will exempt the first $5 million in inheritance from being taxed, and reduces the rate of the rest.
And Obama has been trying to cut the deficit? And the GOP has been laying blame on Obama for not cutting the deficit? Can you see how much money will suddenly not be coming to Washington? $800 billion that the U.S. government desperately needs in this time will be lost.
And mostly given to millionaires and billionaires.
The problem is, we, the proletariat, just haven’t understood the details of the tax bill.
You say, Obama has no other choice. That’s why he was so miffed at his press conference while defending this gross malfeasance of a tax bill. What Obama could have done, instead of driving the stake through the heart of the American public, is use the extension of jobless benefits as leverage. The Republicans don’t want to be responsible for the millions of unemployed Americans needing benefits.
Why didn’t Obama come on television and say, loud and clear, “The Republicans are holding me hostage and are preventing my administration from delivering the relief you, the general public, need in this economic time of crisis”? He should have hammered that point countless times. And then stood firm on voting against any bill that celebrated the wealthiest 2-3 percent of Americans.
When America realizes the Republican Party would rather not help the middle class with benefits and tax breaks, the Democrats will be more powerful. But now, after Obama’s orgy with the GOP, the middle class gets a few crumbs, the economy will not improve because the rich will not spend their tax cuts, and Obama will not stand a chance at getting reelected.
And then we will have ten more years of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. This tax cut bill is not only a terrible short-term deal for America, it stinks in the long-run. This blunder will turn into a cancer, and your children, and your grandchildren, and their grandchildren will be paying for it.