Class warfare and the tax hike fight

Posted on December 2, 2010


With Senate Republicans vowing to a member to block any legislation until tax rates are addressed, the lame duck Congressional session has now been temporarily dominated by the debate over the expiring Bush tax cuts. Republicans want them all extended, keeping tax rates at their current level across the board, while Democrats only want to extend the so-called middle-class tax cuts, thereby letting taxes go up after January 1 for those making over $250,000 – including small business owners.

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today held a test vote that only extended the cuts for the “middle class” while blasting Republicans for wanting to coddle Wall Street investment bankers, or something. She won the vote (with 3 Republicans assisting, and 20 Democrats defecting), which incoming Speaker John Boehner called “chicken crap” and “nonsense.” Allahpundit notes that the bill passed today is dead in the water as it stands no chance in the Senate, although Robert Gibbs is doing his darndest to assure the Democratic base that no tax deal has been struck.

Some sort of eventual compromise has to be in the works, as Harry Reid simply doesn’t have the votes to pass Pelosi’s bill. Republicans will probably agree to a temporary extension of all rates or get their way in exchange for action on unemployment extension (an entirely different debacle) or help in passing the new START treaty. In the meantime, however, the cannons of class warfare are booming loudly as Democrats and liberals continue to repeatedly refer to “tax cuts for the wealthy” and accuse the GOP of coddling evil millionaires and hoping the poor will get by on dog food.

It’s a card that is beginning to lose a lot of its clout these days. Raising taxes in a tough economy only benefits one entity – the government, which will redistribute that money in a terribly inefficient and agenda-driven manner. Despite the economic conditions, it seems the left simply cannot get over their hatred and jealousy of the independently successful. Go ahead, raise the taxes on the rich, and sure, you’ll get a temporary boost in revenues you can spend on pointless stimulus, but in the long run you’ll suppress the spread of capital and investment that leads to job growth.

Not to mention the small business owners on which such a tax hike would put added pressure. Small business along with innovative technology is what’s going to get us out of this slump, but between threats of rising taxes and the assurance of more paperwork and increased costs due to health care reform (which have been conveniently waived by the Obama administration for the big businesses), there’s more headache than upshot associated with starting or maintaining a small business in this country.

I get tired of all the bile and venom directed via “tax cuts for the wealthy” – it’s a blunt political tool that reeks of divisiveness and aims to punish success. It’s especially hypocritical coming from those who are bankrolled by some pretty wealthy people, but playing to your base about stickin’ it to the rich folks is too important to let reality get in the way. The simple truth is that this economy simply doesn’t need more governmental burdens placed on it in the form of tax hikes – for anybody.

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