Play Hardball with the Tax Cuts
by Jason Williams, Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 02:30:40 PM EST
Editors of The Nation propose an Agenda for the Lame-Duck Congress. suggesting a little hardball over extension of the Bush Tax Cuts.
Democrats should take the moment to argue for letting the Bush tax cuts expire and using the new revenue to maintain federal, state and local services in tough economic times...If compromise is necessary, the only credible one is giving relief to working families--not billionaires. The American people will get the point if Democrats make it aggressively and without apology.
Unfortunately, aggressive non-apologetic statements from the White House are being drown out by the apologies. I can understand the strategy behind Obama extending a hand to Republicans, knowing it will be slapped away, leaving Democrats the "Hey, we tried!" theme for future legislative battles and 2012, but how that precludes a tax cut showdown isn't clear. It's hard to muster a political or policy defense of backing down from this fight in the lame-duck. Letting the cuts for the wealthy expire is extremely popular, not to mention extremely good policy, and a chance for a little definition of a blurry Democratic Party.
Keeping middle class cuts in place while letting cuts for the rich expire, and "paying it forward" with the savings is an unquestionable win. Validating Republican talking-points -- Again -- will serve as an endorsement of the Tax Cut = Jobs Mythology and lies about to see an old fashioned big-tent revival in the GOP lead house.
This is a fight that needs to be picked.