David Axelrod said in an interview that the Obama Administration is considering keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. The question Americans deserve an honest answer to is; what is the benefit to 98% of Americans, or the economy?
Why give tax cuts to the wealthy when President Obama said it will cost Americans $700 billion dollars over the next ten years? We know Republicans want the tax cuts extended because they want campaign contributions rich people will give them in return for continuing special treatment.
Republicans say if the tax cuts are extended and become permanent, money will trickle down and jobs will be created; but that is a lie. The wealthy have had the cuts for ten years, and for eight years the country bled jobs until President Obama and the Democrats rescued the economy. Are Americans to believe that suddenly the rich will let their savings “trickle down” to the middle class? After 10 years, it isn’t likely.
When Bush and the Republicans gave tax cuts to the wealthy, they didn’t fund them and the debt grew; the country never benefited. Now, Republicans can’t explain how they will pay for the tax cuts, but they still demand them while complaining about the deficit they created.
If Democrats and President Obama hope there will be bipartisanship and cooperation from Republicans on later issues, they are misinformed and extremely naïve. Republicans stated categorically they will not work with Obama under any circumstance, and in fact, Republicans promise to continue obstructing Obama at every turn, and have made limiting him to one term their prime directive.
The GOP plans on repealing every piece of legislation Democrats have enacted since Obama took office, and are willing to shut down the government to get their way. So, what is the upside of extending the tax cuts for the wealthy, and what’s the benefit of adding to the deficit and hurting the American people? If Democrats think they will get donations from the banks, corporations, and the wealthy, they are sadly mistaken.
The Democrats still control part of Congress and the White House, so all they have to do is let the tax cuts expire. Let Republicans try to give rich people tax cuts again in January because the Senate and the President can block them. The public will see how generous Republicans are when they take money from over 90% of Americans’ to give to rich people. There is no downside for Democrats, and if they would show some courage, they may be surprised at the support they get.
No one knows if Axelrod’s statement was a test to see how Obama’s base will react, or if he was forewarning Obama’s supporters that he capitulated to the Republicans? For Obama’s supporters, the course of wisdom is to wait to see what plays out. In the meantime, the Democrat’s base must pressure legislators to resist renewing the cuts, because silence will be misinterpreted as support.
Republicans will not work with Obama, and it is futile to give in to them to show bipartisanship. At some point, Democrats have to stand up to corporate Republicans or they will lose support from their base, and the tax cuts are a perfect opportunity to help the American people by doing nothing at all. Republicans will kick and scream, but the American people may have faith in government again. There is nothing for Obama and Democrats to lose on this issue. They can work for the American people, or for the Republican Party. It is their last chance to show there is a philosophical difference between the two parties, and a chance to bolster confidence in Democrats.
If Democrats give in and extend tax cuts for the rich, it will prove there is no difference between the two parties. If Democrats and President Obama extend the cuts, they will lose support and respect of the American people. Hopefully the mid-term elections taught Democrats that if they continue playing the Republicans’ game, they will lose support from their base, and subsequently, the next election.