Obama Has Nothing To Lose By Saying No To Tax Cuts for the Rich

David Axelrod said in an interview that the Obama Administration is considering keeping the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. The question Americans deserve an honest answer to is; what is the benefit to 98% of Americans, or the economy?

Why give tax cuts to the wealthy when President Obama said it will cost Americans $700 billion dollars over the next ten years? We know Republicans want the tax cuts extended because they want campaign contributions rich people will give them in return for continuing special treatment.

Republicans say if the tax cuts are extended and become permanent, money will trickle down and jobs will be created; but that is a lie. The wealthy have had the cuts for ten years, and for eight years the country bled jobs until President Obama and the Democrats rescued the economy. Are Americans to believe that suddenly the rich will let their savings “trickle down” to the middle class? After 10 years, it isn’t likely.

When Bush and the Republicans gave tax cuts to the wealthy, they didn’t fund them and the debt grew; the country never benefited. Now, Republicans can’t explain how they will pay for the tax cuts, but they still demand them while complaining about the deficit they created.

If Democrats and President Obama hope there will be bipartisanship and cooperation from Republicans on later issues, they are misinformed and extremely naïve. Republicans stated categorically they will not work with Obama under any circumstance, and in fact, Republicans promise to continue obstructing Obama at every turn, and have made limiting him to one term their prime directive.

The GOP plans on repealing every piece of legislation Democrats have enacted since Obama took office, and are willing to shut down the government to get their way. So, what is the upside of extending the tax cuts for the wealthy, and what’s the benefit of adding to the deficit and hurting the American people? If Democrats think they will get donations from the banks, corporations, and the wealthy, they are sadly mistaken.

The Democrats still control part of Congress and the White House, so all they have to do is let the tax cuts expire. Let Republicans try to give rich people tax cuts again in January because the Senate and the President can block them. The public will see how generous Republicans are when they take money from over 90% of Americans’ to give to rich people. There is no downside for Democrats, and if they would show some courage, they may be surprised at the support they get.

No one knows if Axelrod’s statement was a test to see how Obama’s base will react, or if he was forewarning Obama’s supporters that he capitulated to the Republicans? For Obama’s supporters, the course of wisdom is to wait to see what plays out. In the meantime, the Democrat’s base must pressure legislators to resist renewing the cuts, because silence will be misinterpreted as support.

Republicans will not work with Obama, and it is futile to give in to them to show bipartisanship. At some point, Democrats have to stand up to corporate Republicans or they will lose support from their base, and the tax cuts are a perfect opportunity to help the American people by doing nothing at all. Republicans will kick and scream, but the American people may have faith in government again. There is nothing for Obama and Democrats to lose on this issue. They can work for the American people, or for the Republican Party. It is their last chance to show there is a philosophical difference between the two parties, and a chance to bolster confidence in Democrats.

If Democrats give in and extend tax cuts for the rich, it will prove there is no difference between the two parties. If Democrats and President Obama extend the cuts, they will lose support and respect of the American people. Hopefully the mid-term elections taught Democrats that if they continue playing the Republicans’ game, they will lose support from their base, and subsequently, the next election.

10 Replies to “Obama Has Nothing To Lose By Saying No To Tax Cuts for the Rich”

  1. The Republicans are saying they will NOT vote to extend the tax cuts to the middle class unless the tax cuts for the rich are also extended. Th real question is how many Democrats will stand behind the President if he wants to only extend the tax cuts for 98%?

    I agree completely- this is a signal that the base needs to write, call, and demand to be heard from their representatives. If the base is loud enough and provide cover for their representatives, the representatives can stand for their platform more definitively. The problem we have is that instead of articulating what we want loudly, we denounce the leaders and become enraged at them, which the media then reports as simple rage, which then is used against our leaders instead of emboldening them.

    I’d also like to see them talking about tax law reform for corporations.

  2. Thank you for speaking up about this, RMuse. This is a very important issue and I’ve yet to see the Republicans make any sort of viable argument. As you said, they had 10 years of tax cuts and managed to keep all that extra money from trickling down…we’re supposed to believe it will suddenly happen now? I’m sorry, but the rich aren’t rich because they give other people their money, and their pockets always have room for more. Wake up, Republican rank and file; wake up.

  3. Agree with both of you. The problem at this point, as I believe, is that Pres Obama has a “cave” problem. I do believe that rarified DC Beltway Air has affected his total thought process. I find myself questioning: WHAT the HECK is he THINKING?

    I know he is a thoughtful and brilliant man, but unfortunately he does not appear to have the stones to actually “lead”. Bipartisanship and coming together are lofty ideals, but with the current herd of GOPers, it isn’t happening. He might as well get done what he can because after January, nothing will get done.

    I do not understand why so many people in this country want their entire government to come to a standstill. That has never accomplished anything.

    Save your pennies guys – by May there won’t even be Social Security checks being mailed (or direct deposited). The GOP isn’t quite through destroying our lower and middle class. But they will soon start on the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the veterans. They are next.

  4. I would hate to see the president give in to the Party of No on something that has already been proven to increase the deficit that the GOP only claims to care about. They have been abundantly clear about the fact that they do not intend to work with him, and therefore, bipartisanship is a pipe dream.

  5. I would be a very proud American to see President Obama stand up and say “No” to extending the tax cuts for the wealthy and say that the people of this country come first.

  6. Then we ALL need to email the WHITE HOUSE and tell President Obama. DO NOT –WHATEVER YOU DO–DO NOT EXTEND THE TAX CUTS TO THE WEALTHIEST! Do you honestly think they’ll starve? They’ll only be denying themselves a jet, a diamond watch, a porche, a mansion. WE CANNOT EAT THAT! THAT DOES NOT MAKE FOR TRICLE DOWN JOBS! You said it yourself Mr President. In the name of God. I BEG YOU TO LET THEM KNOW WHO IS PRESIDENT

  7. I will take it one step further. Drop the entire tax program completely. The rich will give us 700 billion in revenue and the rest of the country will give us 3+ trillion. That goes a long ways to get us out of this. And no one will really notice the few dollars you didnt get back after April 15

    The country is deep in debt because of the republicans and the tax decreases(plus wars). It is irresponsible to not try and get it out of debt. The rich dont need tax cuts and we wouldn’t notice them if they did go up.

    We are about to do the same thing that got us were we are. Does that make sense? Taxes that are at Reagan era levels and the country far far deeper in debt. Besides they will just raise the little taxes you pay daily. The ones you Dont think about after April 15 or every day.

  8. If the Dems cave on tax cuts for the rich, that will hurt turnout of Dem voters in 2012. Look at what happened in 2010. The Dems have to show that voting for them actually makes a difference.

  9. I totally agree with you. Instead of running from Obama’s accomplishments, the Democrats should have been calmly and rationally explaining the benefits of such things as the Lily Ledbetter Act (equal pay for women), health care reform, and financial reforms as soon as the Party of No began its nonstop drumbeat of negativity. That is the drawback of Obama’s allowing of others to establish the narrative. Because of Republicans, aided by Democratic enablers, ACORN was destroyed for no reason at all, and because the White House wanted to be perceived as equally sensitive to white as well as black concerns about racism, Shirley Sherrod was fired without even the courtesy of an investigation that would have disproven the claims that she is a racist. All of these things have resulted directly from allowing the GOP to set the tone. Going forward, the president needs to work toward important legislation with the recognition that his ideal of bipartisanship is an exercise in futility when dealing with folks who are banking on making him a failure.

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