Republicans want to leave all tax rates where they are. President Obama, on the other hand, wants to extend most of the tax cuts, while raising taxes back to higher, 2001 levels for “the rich” – families earning more than $250,000 a year.
Although the president contends the resulting loot would be used for “deficit reduction,” in fact, whenever members of Congress are handed an additional $100, they spend $140.
Four years back, Joe the Plumber elicited this administration’s real goal: spreading the wealth around.
Last weekend, Mr. Obama urged Congress to vote on his proposal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promptly responded by proposing votes on two amendments to a small business tax bill. One was effectively Mr. Obama’s plan, the other a Republican alternative that would include top earners in the extended tax reductions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked the votes. The White House voiced support for Sen. Reid’s action, with presidential spokesman Jay Carney calling the GOP move “a gimmick.”
Indeed, this is mostly pre-election maneuvering. But Democrats hold a majority in the Senate – why wouldn’t Sen. Reid seize the opportunity to run the table, enacting precisely the “just-tax-the-rich” proposal Mr. Obama calls for?