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Posted by on Mar 3, 2011 in At TMV | 0 comments

Time To Revisit Last Year’s “Compromise” Tax Breaks For the Rich

Here’s a simple proposal to meet the federal budget crisis: Revisit the debate on the Bush-era tax cuts, and take back the extension of lower income tax rates given to well-to-do earners.

This won’t completely do away with the need to cut programs for the poor and middle class, of course, and the need to reduce the federal workforce that administers these programs. But it would go a long way toward lessening the pain of these cuts, and do what every poll says most Americans want — to have the rich share the sacrifices being made by everyone else.

By fighting for such a proposal in the next two weeks when the federal deficit is being addressed so seriously, Democrats would not only be doing the sensible thing, the fair thing, they would also be pursuing a politically wise tactic that would regain the fervor of their core voters, and demonstrate to independents a commitment to a policy most Americans support.

But wait, you say. Isn’t that tax break for the well-to-do a done deal? Isn’t what’s been legislated here not subject to a quick revision?

Well…no. Inside the Beltway these days some new laws are challenged immediately and aggressively, a prime example being the way Republicans have gone after the Democrats’ health reform measure, backed by polls showing the public dislikes that law. Wouldn’t Democrats going after a pamper-the-rich measure the public also dislikes make even better political as well as fiscal sense? At the very least, making a big point of doing so would give Democrats the clout needed to push back against the nastiest of the Republicans proposed budget cuts.

Will the Democrats take a page from this Republican play book? Probably not. Our President seems to want to save this as an issue for his 2012 reelection bid, the immediate pain it would cause so many Americans notwithstanding. While Democrats in the Senate, where they still have a majority, have become so used to being rolled by Republicans, the habit of fighting back just because the public would support doing so might seem too risky, just whining as you cave now being the preferred Democratic response of choice.

It’s too bad, really. I’m old enough to remember when the Democratic Party actually stood up for the middle class, the elderly, the environment, small businesspeople, and yes (you have to try to believe me on this one), even the poor.

It was a good old party. But it done broke down.

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