Speaking from the White House this week, President Obama announced his plan to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire, and extend tax cuts for middle class families. During his speech, he called on Congress to cooperate and get the job done.
However, Republicans in Congress seem committed to obstructing any plan that makes our tax system more progressive, even if it means holding the middle class hostage. They claim, falsely, that the President’s proposed tax increase for individuals making more than $250,000 a year would cut into the profits of small business owners. This is based off of a flawed definition of “small business”, as the New York Times reports:
“Republicans argue that letting the high-end tax cuts expire will hit small businesses and impede hiring. That is nonsense, and based on an overly broad definition of “small business,” which counts any taxpayer who reports business income as a business owner, including lawyers and accountants working in partnerships, corporate executives who sit on other firms’ boards and shareholders in “S-corporations,” business organizations that can employ thousands of workers. Using a more reasonable definition of small business — for instance, having income and deductions of less than $10 million — a recent Treasury analysis found that only 2.5 percent of small-business owners would face higher taxes from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.”
As usual, though, facts take a back seat to ideology in Republican arguments against tax reform. Their refusal to allow even the most basic compromise has not gone unnoticed by the President. In a recent speech quoted by the Columbus Dispatch, he said:
“Doesn’t it make sense for us to agree to keep taxes low for 98 percent of Americans who are working hard and can’t afford a tax hike right now? What do you normally do if you agree on 98 percent and disagree on 2 percent? Why don’t you compromise to help the middle class?”
Unfortunately, Republican leaders continue to say “NO”, even if fighting against the President’s tax plan would mean $850 billion in lost revenue over the next 10 years. For all their talk about balancing the budget, the Republican Party seems unwilling to do anything to make it a reality. The Romney campaign has only offered vague, unsubstantiated promises of job creation from the top. The President has a better plan. As the Washington Post quotes:
“Many members of the other party believe that prosperity comes from the top down, so that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth,” Obama said. “I disagree. I think they’re wrong. I believe our prosperity has always come from an economy that’s built on a strong and growing middle class.”
Sign your name if you think Congress should extend tax cuts for middle-class families here.