Washington Republicans are complaining that President Obama’s new $4.4 trillion deficit-reduction plan — complete with the “Buffett rule” to ensure a minimum tax rate for millionaires — makes no effort to court bipartisan support.
“Class warfare will simply divide this country more. It will attack job creators, divide people and it doesn’t grow the economy,” Rep. Paul Ryan said Sunday on Fox. “Class warfare may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.”
However, those complaints would be more credible if Republicans hadn’t themselves made it clear, over and over again, that they have no interest whatsoever in bipartisan solutions. Obama has finally concluded that since the GOP has no intention to negotiate, it’s time to draw contrasts, and the package put together by the White House does that quite well.
The Republicans advocate deficit-reduction plans that require absolutely no sacrifice whatsoever from those Americans who even in these times are doing quite well, while demanding hundreds of billions of cuts in programs that serve the poor, the unemployed, the elderly and those needing medical care. If those people are hurting in bad times like these, the GOP intends to hurt them a little more. It’ll be good for them. Really.
The Obama plan to be announced today takes quite a different tack. It would end the Bush tax cuts for couples making more than $250,000 a year, returning the top-end tax rate to 39 percent from its current 35 percent. It would ensure that millionaires pay at least the same effective tax rate as middle-class Americans, a proposal that Republicans call punitive class warfare.
How is it punitive class warfare to insist that the wealthy pay at least as much of their income in taxes as the middle-class does?
– Jay Bookman