President Obama sent the message today through Robert Gibbs on CNN that he plans to kill the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Here’s the video:
Transcript from CNN:
CROWLEY: Do you think the president will do anything other than veto a bill that would keep those Bush tax cuts for everyone intact?
GIBBS: We should protect the tax cuts for the middle-class, and we should let tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires expire.
CROWLEY: Even though recovery is not that great, and people say don’t take money out of this economy, it is not the time for a tax hike, you would go ahead and do it for those making $250,000 and above.
GIBBS: We ought to do something about this deficit, and we ought to protect middle class tax cuts, and the best way to do that is to let the upper-end tax cuts expire, let the wealthy in this country that had been doing fine for years and years and years begin to pay their fair share, and make sure that we protect the tax rate that middle-class families have had for the past many years.
CROWLEY: So the president is totally committed to getting rid of the tax cut for those making $250,000 and above.
GIBBS: Let’s make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don’t need them, tax cuts that have not worked, and have them pay their fair share.
CROWLEY: So is that a yes or a no? The president is completely committed to this, he won’t allow it to happen?
GIBBS: He is 100 percent committed to it.
The point of Robert Gibbs putting this out there today was to get the conversation started. President Obama should be salivating over the possibility of making Mitt Romney defend his unpopular position of lowering taxes for the wealthy.
Numerous polls have shown that support for raising taxes on the wealthy cuts across party lines. As much as Republicans don’t want to talk about it, the Mitt Romney tax plan is radical upward redistribution of wealth. If Republicans gain full control of the federal government they intend to lower taxing on the wealthy while increasing them on the middle class and poor.
The Bush tax cuts are going to be a major issue of the General Election campaign. Even though 74% of Americans support killing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, there are seven Democratic Senators who are actually siding with Republicans on extending the tax cuts for those who need them least.
Obama has had great political success campaigning against the Bush tax cuts, and the comments by Robert Gibbs suggest that the president is getting ready to make the rich paying their fair share a central point of his reelection campaign. It will be interesting to see how the Republican nominee, who is one of those wealthy people who don’t pay their fair share, explains why he and his ilk don’t have to do their part.
The political dynamics have changed. Obama has tamed the toothless Republican tiger, and if he wins reelection there will be nothing stopping him from killing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.