House Speaker John Boehner has gotten scattered grumbling from conservatives in his caucus over his leverage-seeking plan to vote on a proposal to extend marginal tax rates for all income at $1 million or below — allowing taxes to rise on income above that level. But Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist (you might have heard of him) has Boehner’s back — for now — in a way that likely seals Republican support for the measure. Hot off the presses from ATR:
ATR has consistently maintained that individual Members of Congress make a pledge to their constituents to oppose and vote against tax increases. The House this week will vote on a tax bill. This legislation—popularly known as “Plan B”–permanently prevents a tax increase on families making less than $1 million per year. Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill—the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases—is consistent with the pledge they made to them. In ATR’s analysis, it is extremely difficult—if not impossible—to fault these Republicans’ assertion.
In particular, in this Congress the House has already voted twice to prevent any tax increases on any American. When viewed with this in mind, and considering this tax bill contains no tax increases of any kind—in fact, it permanently prevents them—matters become more clear. Having finally seen actual legislation in writing, ATR is now able to make its determination about a legislative proposal related to the fiscal cliff. ATR will not consider a vote for this measure a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Update 12:58 p.m.: Heritage Action for America, the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation — which South Carolina’s Jim DeMint is leaving the U.S. Senate to run — is coming out hard against ‘Plan B.’ So it’s Norquist v. DeMint. Game on. From Heritage Action:
On Thursday, the House is expected to vote on “Plan B,” which would allow tax rates to increase on some Americans and small businesses. The plan is based on an idea floated by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in 2010 and endorsed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) earlier this year.
America’s coming fiscal crisis is a result of overspending, not under-taxing. Allowing a tax increase to hit a certain segment of Americans and small businesses is not a solution; it is a political ploy.
The Heritage Foundation explains that such a “maneuver succeeds only if the House Republican leadership permits it.” Moreover, decoupling the 2001- and 2003-era tax rates would “constitute a clear path toward surrender on conservative principles.” Taking money out of the private sector to fund the public sector is not only misguided, it is counterproductive. Reversing course on the need for higher taxes will only serve to embolden the left’s big-government agenda. History has shown tax increases do little to stem annual deficits; in fact, deficits tend to increase.
To date, President Obama has proven to be fundamentally unserious about tackling our nation’s coming fiscal crisis. America needs real leaders proposing real solutions, such as those found in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan or even the previous House-passed budget. That seriousness of purpose is undermined when a political party embraces the other side’s political gimmick, as is the case with the Schumer-Pelosi tax plan.
Heritage Action opposes “Plan B” and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
- By Daniel Malloy, Political Insider