Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's not a tax increase if you don't vote to increase taxes

Front paged at Booman Tribune, ePluribus Media and Swords Crossed


In a conversation with my (conservative but Bush hating) dad today, I got this line thrown at me:

”Well, this Democratic Congress is responsible for the single biggest tax increase in history”

Of course, this relates to the spin put forth by republicans who are counting the lack of renewal of the obscene Bush tax cuts from 2001 AND 2003 which were purposely made to sunset in 2010 so that rosy “balanced” budget estimates could have been made by the administration and the republican controlled Congress during 2001 and 2003.

Couple this with the fact that the same republican Congress didn’t extend these “temporary” tax cuts at the end of 2004 or 2005 (or 2006) either, but nobody was calling it a tax increase back then. But hey, IOKIYAR, right?

Unfortunately, the truth of not extending temporary tax cuts that were only made “temporary” was to falsely reduce the budget deficit projections at the time really didn’t matter in my conversation. Nor does it seem to matter, now that the new fiscal year budget talks are starting again.

Yet, as reported recently by the most excellent McClatchy Washington Bureau, this lie is starting to seep out now about those “crazy tax and spend Democrats”:

"Regrettably, the Democrats' budget plan amounts to the largest tax hike in American history," said Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee.

"When you take everything away, this bill is a classic Democratic tax-and-spend bill," said Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the Senate budget panel's top Republican.

This should be a no brainer. Yet, Bush is going virtually unchallenged on this, despite the very republican Congresses not extending these tax cuts or making the “sacred” tax cuts permanent when they had the chance in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 AND 2006.

And here is the most basic of premises turned right on its’ head - how can something be a tax increase if nobody voted to increase taxes? Nothing stopped the same republican majority from passing anything they (or Bush) wanted, even if it meant excluding Democrats from every step and bit of the process. And Democrats are saying that they are repealing the tax cuts before they are set to expire either – at least not yet.

And it certainly isn’t like there haven’t been massive tax cuts (mind you, the first time there was a “war” and taxes were cut:

Since 2001, Bush has been able to practically dictate tax policy to Congress. Tax cuts have passed each of the past five years, totaling $1.8 trillion over 10 years.

And it isn’t like republican Senators haven’t ALREADY balked at extending these cuts when they were in the majority. From December 2005:
But even a more modest White House request to extend them until 2010 is in trouble. The Senate balked last month at extending the dividend and capital gains tax cuts even a single year.

Jeez, those tax and spend republican majorities from 2005. And what did they do right before voting as to whether to continue the capital gains tax cuts?
House leaders will try again for a vote Thursday, but moderate Republicans in the House have expressed deep misgivings about approving a measure so beneficial to affluent investors so soon after they approved a budget-cutting bill that would cut people off food stamps, squeeze student lenders, impose new fees on Medicaid recipients and slash federal aid for child-support enforcement.

Food stamp, student lender, Medicaid recipients, child support enforcement for cuts in the capital gains tax for the wealthy who can afford to invest in the market. Now THAT sounds like a good trade off. Fortunately, the republican Congress DIDN’T extend these cuts, although all of those people who are on food stamps AND have capital gains must have been REALLY pissed....

Now that the budget discussions are coming up again, there is no doubt that those on the “right” will start with this “largest tax increase ever” nonsense. But the fact remains that (1) the republican majority took EXACTLY the same actions to not extend these cuts and (2) nobody, I repeat nobody is proposing to vote for a capital gains tax increase or any “largest tax increase in the history of forever”.

Anyone who actually believes and repeats this is either insane, uninformed or woefully hypocritical. And we should be prepared to call them on it.

No comments: