Tax Cuts: The Never-Ending Debate


The Jan. 1, 2011, expiration of Bush’s tax cuts is approaching and, of course, both parties radically disagree with one another, which means the outcome will be counter productive.  Supposedly by Dec. 3, the Democrats and the Republicans will have a showdown to see where they all stand. The preliminaries would include four “test votes” to see who holds the balance of power and what the final details regarding a tax-cut compromise will be.

The four are:

–    The House-passed bill, which caps the tax-cut extension for families earning $250,000 in income.
–    Another bill chomps the caps at $1 million.
–    Also a bill is for permanently extending all the cuts.
–    The other is the big one – still being finalized – and is calling for a two-year extension of all cuts.

To be clear, the test votes are “fake filibusters.” And for you dummies out there in T.V. Land who don’t know what filibuster means, it means your life: a waste of time and progress.

My prediction is the White House is going to play ball and grant the GOP a two-year extension of all tax rates. In exchange for that deed, Republicans would allow for an extension of unemployment benefits indefinitely.

Remember, folks, sometimes you can’t get the whole hog, so you have to settle for a ham sandwich.

Still, some other provisions are open for discussion. Like the Democrats Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act: a bill that is sensitive to the conditions of illegal immigrants pursuing an education or in the armed forces. And Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: openly allowing gays in the military. However, GOP leaders have already deemed these contingencies as “dangerous.”

President Barack Obama is on board for extending middle class tax cuts and said it’s the most important thing the government can do for the economy. But the Republicans have made clear they won’t pass a middle-class extension unless tax cuts for the wealthy are extended. So, Obama is working with Secretary Timothy Geithner and Director Lew to “work with Congress to find a way forward.”

I’m hoping that means he’s going to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

So far, Obama’s tax cuts, the Recovery Act, have saved middle class families over $240 billion and is rising steadily. Unfortunately, it still feels like everything sucks, but we mustn’t forget why.

I’ll put it provocatively, so it’ll be easier to understand: we are still trimming the Bush and until it is all trimmed, it won’t be smooth.