It's John Galt's world. We just live in it.
by David Atkins
Normally I can read a news story and provide some reasonable perspective to give further context. But this just leaves me speechless:
Senate Republicans will press this week to extend tax cuts for affluent families scheduled to expire Jan. 1, but the same Republican tax plan would allow a series of tax cuts for the working poor and the middle class to end next year.Let's be very clear here: we are still in the middle of deep economic recession and high unemployment caused by reckless casino capitalism. Economic inequality is at record levels for the modern era.
Republicans say the tax breaks for lower-income families — passed with little notice in the extensive 2009 economic stimulus law — were always supposed to be temporary. But President Obama had made them a priority in 2009 and demanded their extension in 2010 as a price for extending the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, and both the White House and Senate Democrats are determined to extend them again.
That sets up a potentially tricky issue for Republicans. They have said they do not want taxes to go up on anyone while the economy struggles to gain altitude, but under their plan, written by Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, about 13 million families would see their tax refunds reduced, and some would see their taxes increase.
“Senator Hatch’s amendment would extend tax breaks for the top 2 percent of Americans,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who leads the Senate’s Democratic majority, said this month. “But it fails to extend a number of tax cuts that help middle-class families get by in a tough economy.”
The tax showdown is set for Wednesday, when the Senate will vote on whether to take up Democratic legislation to extend Bush-era middle-class tax cuts through 2013. The motion will need 60 votes to pass, and only if it gets those votes will Republicans be given a chance to vote on their alternative tax plan. The House will vote next week on a similar Republican plan that also allows the 2009 stimulus cuts to lapse.
And Republicans are flat-out running on a campaign of lowering taxes on the super rich while raising them on lower and middle incomes. Rather than being an insane, devastating and unthinkable political platform, it is simply called "tricky." The political party advancing this platform has an even chance to win the Presidency, and a better than even chance to win the Senate and hold onto the House. Also, the advertisement on the right-hand side of the page is this:
Sometimes I wonder if it's worth even trying to save this country from itself. If half of the country wants to experiment with immoral Objectivist fantasies, I'm half inclined to let them as long as they leave the rest of us alone. The problem is, they won't.