Since those tax reductions were enacted, Democrats have—rightly—criticized them as ineffective economic policy that unduly expands the national debt. The data support the allegations: The Bush tax-cut years were “one of the weakest eight-year spans for the U.S. economy in decades,” according to The Washington Post, and the tax cuts are the single largest factor in the deficit, according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Americans understand these facts, as evidenced by polls showing majority support for eliminating the specific tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. In fact, when considering both public opinion and Democrats’ previous criticism of Bush’s tax policy, it’s clear that opposition to the Bush tax cuts was a primary reason voters elected Democrats in the first place.
And yet, this week, the White House and Democratic congressional leaders announced they are postponing any legislation that might permanently modify the Bush tax cuts.
That’s right, we’re not talking about Democrats deliberately letting all the cuts expire—Democratic lawmakers say they will extend the cuts for the middle class. The issue is whether they will simultaneously deliver on promises to terminate the tax cuts that apply to income above $200,000. On that pledge, the party is now blocking a vote.
No doubt, Democratic politicians would have us believe that Republican obstructionism makes a vote pointless and that those saying otherwise are back to “glass half empty” whining. This, of course, has been the same excuse on nearly every issue.
But who are the self-defeating whiners here—politicians who don’t even attempt to fulfill their own promises, or voters who expect those politicians to at least make a minimal effort? The honest answer to that question shows who is really responsible for the enthusiasm gap. MORE...
Friday, October 01, 2010
Taxing Our Enthusiasm