Ending Bush tax cuts for the “two percenters” is a winning issue for Democrats

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Ending the Bush tax cuts for the über-rich – the "two percenters" – is a winning issue for Democrats. In poll after poll this year the public supports president Obama's proposal to end the tax cuts for those making over $250,000.

Greg Sargent writes at The Plum Line – Dear Dems: You can win the argument over Bush tax cuts:

[I] thought it would be useful to pull together all the polling that shows this is an argument Dems have a rather good shot at, you know, winning if they decide to go for it.

* A new National Journal poll finds that 56 percent support ending either all the Bush tax cuts or just the ones for the wealthy, while barely more than a third want to keep them all.

* The new Gallup poll shows that 59 percent of Americans — and a majority of independents — supports either ending all the Bush tax cuts or just the ones for the wealthy.

Indeed, Gallup finds that Obama's proposal — ending the tax cuts for the wealthy but not for everyone else — has the support of 44 percent, more than any other solution.

* A CNN poll in late August found that a majority, 51 percent, favors ending the tax cuts for the rich, and another 18 percent favor ending them all.

It also found that among independents, 44 percent favor ending the tax cuts for the rich, while another 21 percent favor ending them all. Letting the tax cuts for the rich expire has majority support in all regions of the country except the south.

* A recent CBS poll also found a sizable majority, 56 percent, think the tax cuts for the wealthy should expire.

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Here's another one: A recent Newsweek poll found 52 percent support letting the tax cuts for the rich expire, while only 38 percent support keeping them in place.

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[H]ere's the point: Amid a sea of bad polling news,here is an issue where the public is clearly on Dems' side. And the above polling suggests that the public already has a pretty firm grasp on the "nuance" of this debate. This, of all things, is not an issue where Dems should conclude in advance — as they often do — that once Republicans go on the attack, it's game over and Dems can't possibly win the argument.

So let me be clear: if I see one more press release from Arizona's conservadem Blue Dog Democratic members of Congress or wannabe members of Congress (Jon Hulburd) spouting Republican talking points, i.e., "the market needs certainty" (Steve Benen destroys this GOP talking point at The Washington Monthly) or defending the disproved and discredited conservative supply-side "trickle down" tax cut policies that have destroyed our economy and the American middle class by arguing for an extension of the Bush tax cuts, I'm going to cut you off from this blog. A real Democrat would be fighting for Democratic values for the constituents that we represent, the working men and women of this country – America's middle class.

Here's a helpful reminder to conservadem Blue Dog Democrats how allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire will affect the 98% of Americans who are not the über-rich "two percenters." Hint: no change. It's time to nut up and stop cowering every time some Republican spouts ridiculous nonsense about taxes. Fight back, goddammit!

H/t Ezra Klein

UPDATE: Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly has a great idea:

'OBAMA TAX CUTS'…. Atrios offers a very compelling idea when it comes to Democratic messaging.

I've said it before … but I have no idea why we're talking about the "Bush tax cuts" instead of talking about how Bush's tax cuts are expiring as he intended, and meet the new and improved "Obama tax cuts."

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[T]he tax policies of the Bush/Cheney era were a failure. They didn't create jobs, they didn't generate vast economic growth, and they contributed to massive explosion in federal debt. Republicans who passed them, hoping to play a little budget shell game, set the rates to expire at the end of 2010.

So, to borrow a phrase, let's turn the page. That policy didn't produce the desired results, and now it's coming to an end. Going forward, we'll have a new policy — Obama tax cuts, on top of the cuts he approved last year, would make lower rates permanent for the middle- and lower-class. Obama would allow a modest increase to the top rate for the wealthiest Americans — just as he promised to during the election — but the rich would still get a cut on the first $250,000 they make, thanks to the way marginal rates work.

Congressional Democrats, especially those worried about re-election, would therefore take a stand in support of the "Obama tax cuts" for the middle class.

Why not go with rhetoric that's likely to resonate, and which has the added benefit of being true?

One response to “Ending Bush tax cuts for the “two percenters” is a winning issue for Democrats

  1. The graph shows what many people don’t understand. The return to pre-Bush tax rates kicks in around $200,000-250,000, but it has only a minor impact on people who make less that half a million. That’s because the higher rate only applies to the earned money above $200,000-$250,000. You’ll pay ten cents more on the first dollar above that figure, $10 on the first $100, etc. Only the millionaires and beyond start paying real money in added taxes, which they can well afford.