Tick-Tock


Midterm Election Countdown: 50 days, 9 hours, 1 minute, 26 seconds.

With majorities in two houses hanging like an anvil from a thread, President Obama is finally starting to find his footing. For months, he and his proxies have let Republicans propose change, after change, after change– without any response or debate from the Democratic side. It’s been ruckus from the right and silence from the left. Well, Republicans, try this one out for size.

The clock is ticking on the highly disputed ‘Bush Tax Cuts’ which will expire at the end of this year. The Bush cuts have given tax relief to the middle class and to the wealthy, cutting taxes for millions of people who really can’t afford higher taxes, but also granting millionaires and billionaires the same type of aid that people in a much lower salary range are getting.

The majority of Americans identify themselves as “middle class.” So, in a recession, it makes sense to give some relief to the majority of Americans — those who really need it. It does not, however, make sense to give identical (or additional) tax relief to people who are not struggling to pay their bills, not struggling to stay employed, and not struggling to buy their sixth house on the shores of Maui.

The President’s suggestion to extend the Bush-era tax breaks for the middle class is economical and politically sound. The legislative catch (for the Republicans), of course, is that the proposal doesn’t include any relief for those who make more than $250,000 a year…oh, wait. It does. If this law were implemented, everyone would get tax relief: including the billionaires. (Happy, Reagan Republicans?) Even people who made more than the above stated maximum would get a tax break on the first $250,000 of their income. So, while I disapprove of almost any tax cut for the über-wealthy, this is a noble bipartisan stride on the president’s part.

My hope is that this maneuver is only the beginning of a series of smart political choices and displays of consistent liberal ideology on the part of the President and his party in anticipation and prevention of a completely blowout in November.

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