ConservaDem Sens. Conrad, Nelson, Bayh Go Off Message on Tax Cuts for Rich
July 22, 2010
(ChattahBox)—ConservaDems right on cue, are coming out in support of extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich at the same time Democratic leaders and President Obama are against it. Sens. Kent Conrad (ND), Ben Nelson (NE) and Evan Bayh (IN), members of the chamber’s so-called centrist caucus, fresh off their “torpedo Obama’s agenda tour,” weakening healthcare reform, Wall Street reform and continuing with environmental policies, are now turning their attention to ensuring the wealthiest Americans keep their tax cuts.
Sen. Conrad told reporters yesterday that he favored extending the Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year, for even the wealthiest Americans.
“As a general rule, you don’t want to be cutting spending or raising taxes in the midst of a downturn,” Mr. Conrad said. “We know that very soon we’ve got to pivot and focus on the deficit. But it probably is too soon to cut spending or raise taxes.”
Sens. Bayh and Nelson have already called for keeping tax cuts for the nation’s top earners.
President Obama and the Democrats have been uniting together to end the tax cuts for the rich, while retaining those for the middle-class.
According to the report by the Wall Street Journal, taxpayers making $250,000 or less would still retain their current tax rates:
“President Barack Obama and most Democrats want to extend only the breaks benefiting taxpayers who make $250,000 or less. Allowing breaks for higher earners to expire would push the top individual tax rate to 39.6% from 35%, and would raise rates on capital gains and dividends, too. The breaks enacted in 2001 and 2003, which affect taxpayers of all income levels, expire at the end of this year.”
How much would the tax cuts cost, across the board for one year? According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, at least $115 billion. For centrist Democrats and Republican lawmakers concerned about the burgeoning deficit, how can they also support deficit-busting Bush tax cuts?
This issue is heating up for the mid-term elections. Republicans are framing the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, as one of the largest tax increases ever, even though middle-class Americans would keep their current tax rate, under Obama’s plan.
Democrats are attacking Republicans for pandering to the rich and corporate interests, instead of Main Street. And not really caring about the deficit, when extending the tax cuts would add to the nation’s growing debt.