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July 26, 2012

WaPo Blogger: "Senate Dems Sneak Middle Class Tax Cuts Past GOP"

Everything Greg Sargent wrote in that headline is 100% true with the minor exception of "sneak" and "cuts". Other than that, spot on.

The background: Yesterday Harry Reid strong armed his caucus into voting to maintain current tax rates for people making less than $250,000/year and raising them on the rest (none of which is the same as a "tax cut", no matter what liberals claim. Don't let them get away with it).

Stenographer to the liberal stars Sargent sees this as a tremendous victory. From his blog post last night.

The Senate voted just now by 51-48 to pass the Democratic plan to extend the Bush tax cuts on all income up to $250,000. That came just after the GOP plan to extend tax rates on all earners was defeated on a simple majority vote in the Senate.

To be clear: Republicans opposed the Dem plan on the grounds that it excluded only income above $250,000 earned by two percent of taxpayers.

This came after Mitch McConnell agreed this morning to majority votes on both plans, apparently because he didn’t think Harry Reid had enough votes to pass his. It’s a rare day that McConnell is outmaneuvered in the Senate. But this time, he was: Reid held on to even those vulnerable Dems in very tough races who held the line despite weeks of taunting from Republicans that supporting the Dem tax cut plan would allow GOPers to portray Dems as “tax hikers.”

The cocoon is strong with this one.

It never seems to occur to Sargent that McConnell wasn't surprised Reid brought the tax hike to the floor, he was basically begging him to. Democrats seem to think everyone loves tax hikes for the rich as much as they do. But I'd be willing to be folks like Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida and maybe even the cowardly lion of the Senate Joe Manchin of West Virgina were less than enthused by having to take that vote a little more than 3 months before election day.

Yes, hiking taxes on "the rich" polls well but when it comes to actual votes, it doesn't seem to do as well. Remember, if tax hikes like this were so popular, the Democrats could have voted for them anytime they had control of Congress and the White House. Instead they passed a two year extension of them. I'm not sure why voters will be so excited by them after two more years of Obama's lousy economy.

Free suggestion: Romney or the RNC should cut an ad with a small business person who would see their taxes raised by the Democrats. Find someone (really vet them because the media will) who is putting their money back into their company and is really living modestly....an older car, a house with a mortgage, kids in college etc. Then show them with an employee or two and have them say, "This is Mike and Peggy, if President Barack Obama and the Democrats get their way, the money I use to pay them will go to Washington instead and I'll have to let them go. President Obama, please don't force me to fire Mike and Perry."

Just for fun: I got into this last night with a liberal on Twitter. Her response was

Restoring tax cuts on income over $250k would raise $850 bil over 10 yrs. I think voters like that.

Two things:

As always liberals assume a complete disconnect between tax hikes and taxpayer behavior. People aren't simply going to pony up more money because government models say they will. They will do everything they can to lessen the blow and the money won't show up.

Second, even if she's right and all that money showed up by her own numbers we're talking about $80 billion a year. A fair sized number in the real world but in the world of the federal government that has a budget of over $3 TRILLION per year, has been running $1+ TRILLION deficits for 3 years running and will for the foreseeable future, it's not even a rounding error.

Arguing economics with a liberal is like talking physics with a puppy (though that comparison might be unfair to puppies).

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posted by DrewM. at 09:54 AM

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