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Stealth Tax Increase Fails

From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Saturday rejected President Obama’s proposal to end the Bush-era tax breaks on income above $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals, a triumph for Republicans who have long called for continuing the income tax cuts for everyone.

The Senate also rejected an alternative proposal, championed by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, to end the tax breaks only on income exceeding $1 million.

Republicans voted unanimously against both proposals, and Democrats said it showed that they were siding with “millionaires and billionaires” over the middle class. Republicans said they were refusing to let taxes rise on anyone given the continuing weakness in the economy.

This is sweet on a lot of levels.

First, it is a defeat for the duplicitous harpy who is currently Speaker of the House. Last week she moved the tax increase through the House by refusing to present an extension of the tax rates scheduled to expire December 31 and unilaterally changing the bill so it radically increased taxes on Americans making over $250,000 per year.

Second, it demonstrated that the Republican minority in the Senate will in fact stick together at least for now. If you are like me you were more than a little skeptical of the letter signed by all GOP Senators expressing their solidarity in what had to be done in the lame duck session.

Third, the New York Times had to wait 18 paragraphs to tell us what the final vote was.

The vote was 53 to 36, on a bill adopted by the House on Thursday that would end the cuts on income above $250,000 a year for couples and $200,000 a year for individuals.

Republicans voted unanimously against the House-passed bill, and they were joined by four Democrats — Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Jim Webb of Virginia — as well as by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.

This constant play at class warfare is beginning to wear thin. While the Democrats in the House were railing against “millionaires” who would use their additional income to buy a car or take a trip they seemed to ignore the fact that consumer spending is what is needed to create jobs. The also seem oblivious to the fact that money pushed directly into the economy is more efficiently distributed than money siphoned out of our paychecks, passed through various governmental agencies, and spent of pet projects.

If there is one thing for certain in the current economy it is that we are all in this together and this perpetual scapegoating of the hardworking, the well educated, the successful is little short of shameful. Thankfully the Senate Republicans and a very eclectic set of Democrats stood their ground.

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