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The Republican plan to raise middle-class taxes

Erixon is a junior  rhetoric and politics major can be contacted at william.erixon@drake.edu

In the next couple of weeks as Congress considers President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act and the “super committee” starts to get down to details, both major parties are gearing up for a big fight over taxes, but it’s not the fight you think it is. The payroll tax cut, which was part of the 2010 tax deal passed last December, is set to expire at the end of this year unless it is renewed.

Republicans, who have in the last year threatened to shut down the government and force the U.S. to default on its debt over the very idea of raising taxes, are balking at the section of Obama’s jobs bill that cuts taxes on working Americans by $110 billion over the next year, and Democrats are suiting up to fight for it tooth and nail.

Yes, you heard that right. Republicans are digging in their feet in order to raise taxes. Why? Well, the most obvious reason is that this tax cut was conceived and proposed by the Obama administration as an attempt to spur employment and help get the American people back to work. So naturally, the Republicans in Congress were predisposed to hate it.

However, I believe there is a more fundamental reason for Republicans’ opposition to this particular tax cut. After all, not only are we talking about a party that can’t say no to tax cuts, we are talking about a party that can’t say yes to a net revenue increase. Each and every Republican in Congress has signed Grover Norquist’s unbreakable pledge to not raise taxes in any way. This tax must be different – this tax must be special.

Well, it is. This tax is almost exclusively aimed at helping working people, the poor and the middle class. If you are running a large corporation or making more than $250,000 per year, this tax cut won’t hurt you, but it doesn’t exactly do much to help you either. And that is the root of the Republican opposition to this tax cut.

As it turns out, the Republican Party is not the anti-tax party, the fiscal conservative party or the small government party. They are the party of wealthy and corporate interests. Because this tax cut doesn’t do anything for the people who are donating to their campaigns and super PACs, they are simply not interested.

Put simply, this is shameful. This is a difficult time for our economy, and working people are suffering while the corporate interests behind Republican super PACs are raking in record profits. This is not a time for politics; this is a time for action.


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  1. Mary September 18, 2011

    What is gonig to happen when the 1% have collected every last penny? With any luck they will gobble each other up.

  2. Malcolm September 18, 2011

    It is hard to understand how the GOP party who has shown that the only constituency they are willing to go to the mat for are the super wealthy has any support at all.

    1. Mike September 19, 2011

      I know. I am a Republican trying to figure out how to change my party to Independent. Very disappointing. I’m still conservative, but I was hoping the GOP would have supported this proposal because it makes sense considering the difference in percentage middle class and the rich pay in taxes. Now raising taxes on corporations is always dumb because they don’t pay for them they pass the bill onto the consumer through raising prices.

  3. Barnaby Linet September 18, 2011

    yawn. another pro-Obama internet drone, dispensing Obamaganda
    mis- and dis-information.
    hope we don’t get fooled again, next November.

    1. mcp123 September 18, 2011

      I believe we won’t be fooled by Pastor Perry and Mormon Romney… giving us more of the same tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs molarkey we’ve been putting up with for the last ten years.

  4. greg September 18, 2011

    Really one of the more biased diatribes I have seen. He obviously has no economic background, just ridiculous assumptions. I would recommend he take a few courses in economics and how to run a business….along with Obama.

    1. mcp123 September 18, 2011

      Yeah because the republican plan to create jobs… works so much better. In fact… we are ten years into that plan and still waiting for those tax cuts for the wealthy (still in effect) to create jobs.

      So whats their new plan they presented? Lower corporate taxes even more… begin rolling back environmental protections. It’ll work the same as their last plan.

    2. Dav e September 18, 2011

      Obviously, you need to learn a thing or two about economic dynamics. That is a new term you haven’t heard before, isn’t it? Here is what it means:

      Nothing happens when you put more money into the hands of one that is overflowing with money.

      When you put money into the hands of people that barely have any, they will use it to pay for daily necessities, which means, that money will go right back into the economic pool, spurring more growth.

      That is economic dynamics. Now go teach that to your dumb Republican and TEA friends.

    3. dave September 18, 2011

      Well I suggest take a look at the disparity in wealth in this country, my friend. Maybe this guy should take a business course, but by the time he’s out of college there won’t be small business. Everything will be shipped overseas except profit. That will stay with the 1%. Guess what, the rich get richer.

      All while the GOP complains the 750000 people (or businesses) would suffer a tax hike for people with > 250000 in income. THOSE ARE PEOPLE, not businesses you moron. That’s Casey’s point…the disinformation stinks. And you, Greg, are probably not some nefarious greedy profiteer, but you’re arguing for one. Get a clue.

  5. Damar Minyak September 18, 2011

    Oh, those wascally wepubwicans ! And, quite the expertise from a junior in rhetoric and politics. No wonder this reads like a homework assignment.

  6. Lisa L. September 18, 2011

    1) The small amount that people get to keep from their FICA taxes under this plan, has been shown to NOT be spent, but is principally going to savings…. people are saving because the future is uncertain.

    2) This was a Social Security (FICA) tax cut, not an income tax cut. Social Security is in worse shape than the budget, and this tax cut makes it worse. This was the LAST place that a revenue cut should have been made.

    3) We need JOBS… which means we need people with the ability and desire to CREATE jobs. The current tax and regulatory climate is killing the incentive, even if they have the ability.

  7. richard e. adams September 18, 2011

    If we had a government that listens to the people who got them in office and stop fighting because i am a republican or democrat what a nice nation we would have all you seem to be

  8. Socalshocker September 18, 2011

    Hypocrisy! Well written.

  9. Keith September 18, 2011

    Excellent article.

  10. Mark September 18, 2011

    This is not new behavior for Republicans. This is the cornerstone of their policies since the 1870s. In the gilded age of the late nineteenth century, the Roaring Twenties and with the onset of “Reagan Revolution,” GOP lawmakers have had one goal in mind: rob from the poor and give to the rich.

    Republicans such as Ryan and Cantor are indistinguishable from their counterparts of yore, who were bought and paid for to do the bidding of their corporate masters. In fact, what we are witnessing is the final flowering of the seeds planted by Reagan and his minions. The thin veneer at the top are richer than ever, while the working middle class and the working poor fall farther behind and deeper in debt. A once robust middle class is being replaced by a widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

    Regardless of the time, each period of ruthless, cut-throat domination of public life by Republicans have ended in economic collapse. Whether it was the booms of the 1880s and ’90s, the frenzied twenties or the Reagan era, each period has been followed by the see-saw busts, Great Depression and the Great Recession we are sunk in now.

    Rick Perry’s Ponzi scheme analogy is apt. However, it doesn’t apply to Social Security but to the siren song of riches beyond people’s dreams peddled by the GOP. Let us cut taxes and government services and we will free you up to stoke the engine of free enterprise to become fabulously wealthy.

    Listen…the siren is playing her son. She is called Republican.

  11. Christopher Mapes September 18, 2011

    Mr Erixon, a very well articulated opinion, and i agree that they are the party of wealthy and corporate interests; even the tea bagger republicans take their contributions from koch brothers and other ultra-rich, and then they spout out “no new taxes. . . , bla bla bla”

    One point that no one seems to hit on is that the tea baggers and ultra conservative talking heads (puppets of the rich) like rush and shaun, phrase the term “no new taxes” when in fact they are not “new taxes”, but just a termination of the Bush Tax Cuts for the ultra rich!

    I’m with Obama and Buffet, and yes i did capitalize their surnames. one point, dude: you are an educated and articulate person, get a haircut, shave and an image makeover, it should help your point to get more respect in mainstream political shark-infested waters.

    I’m reading Scott McClellan’s book “What Happened”, about his tour in the bush admin — and the jest of the whole book is a realization that we are lost during a time of continuous party campaigning which leaves no time for governing for the people, the real constituents.

  12. Carla Duff September 18, 2011

    People that don’t live on a fixed income, and I mean fixed, as we do not get raises, haven’t had a cost of living increase, even the 1% in 3 years, they truly don’t realize just how scary it is knowing you could be cut off at the knees. Not a pleasant thought, keeps you up at night. We have the same expenses as every one else but we have less to pay for them. Our health insurance costs us nearly $300 a month on top of co-pays. Then there is rent, utilities, gas, car repairs, car insurance and medication to buy. Oh but then as Ron Paul, the good doctor implied, if you can’t pay for your health care…oh well. Nice Christian attitudes of all these people who say they are Christians. I don’t understand it, what has happened? Isn’t it genocide when one class of people tries to get rid of another class of people?

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