President McMuslimbot took to the podium today to introduce his new tax proposal that’s he’s had for about 10 years: extending (for one year) the “middle-class” tax cuts on all but the top two marginal income tax brackets, meaning each dollar of income above $250,000 would be taxed at rates last seen during the oppressive Bill Clinton administration. This is the greatest blow to American liberty since John Roberts & Co. destroyed all American liberty permanently by upholding the constitutionality of a $695 tax penalty two weeks ago.
We don’t want to get too hasty here about the chances that Democrats are prepared to avoid a spectacular, hilarious fuck-up this time around, but for the moment, a couple of positive signals:
- It appears that top Democrats from all quarters actually talked to each other and planned a bit before the President came forward with this announcement. The way it typically works is that the President will say “let rate cuts on incomes above $250,000/year expire” and then half of the Democratic party will go “hey now, I’m scared about letting any tax go up” and then there’s chaos and the Republicans score a total victory. This time, however, the White House appears to have coaxed congressional leaders into supporting his plan instead of their stupid alternate versions to let rates expire on incomes above $1 million per year. (You’re still not forgiven for that, Nancy Pelosi.)
- Jay Carney has confirmed that the President would veto any bill that extends the high-end rates. Assuming Obama doesn’t simply break this pledge, it would mean that he’s prepared to let all of the tax cuts expire if he doesn’t get what he wants, providing him the necessary leverage. It would be great if he simply said he’d never extend any tax cuts, since the Bush tax cuts as a whole were a mistake that never should have happened, but that has never been his or the Democratic party’s position, so.
Here is how this will play out: Nothing will reach the president’s desk because it is the middle of an election year and everyone is just screwing around. And then after the election there will be some kind of tax reform dongle by some president, the end.