State of Play: GOP Holding Tax Cuts for 98% of Americans Hostage in Name of More Tax Breaks for Top 2%

Speaker John Boehner and Congressional Republicans love paying lip service to tax cuts for the middle class.  Actually delivering tax cuts to the middle class?  Think again.  Here’s the state of play:

Republicans are holding tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans hostage to unnecessary and expensive tax breaks for the top 2 percent.

On the House floor Friday, Majority Leader Cantor announced the GOP’s plan to bring a bill to the floor at the end of July to extend all of the Bush tax cuts while refusing to allow a vote on the President’s proposal to extend middle class tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans.

The GOP wants to add to deficit by giving additional tax cuts to those who need it least and the middle class cannot afford a Republican tax hike.

82 percent of Americans think it is important for Congress to reach agreement on extending Bush-era tax cuts just for families earning less than $250,000. [National Journal, 7/9]

White House Blog – By the Numbers: 98 Percent

We all agree tax cuts for America’s middle class should be extended.  Let’s pass them now and continue the discussion on the top 2 percent. Why risk weeks or months of economic uncertainty?

President Obama: “This week, I called on Congress to immediately stop the January 1st tax hike from hitting any American on the first $250,000 of their income…if we disagree on the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, we all agree that no American should pay more taxes on the first $250,000 of their income.  So let’s at least agree to do what we all agree on.  That’s what compromise is all about.  Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy.” [Weekly Address, 7/14]

Leader Pelosi: “As we have been doing day after day after day, we are calling upon the Republicans in Congress to pass the middle income tax cuts.  As you know, this week President Obama laid out a step that we can take right now that will bring more certainty and stability to our economy and be fair to the middle class.  Republicans must stop holding middle income tax cuts hostage to their tax cuts for their very wealthy friends, Big Oil, special interests.” [Press Conference, 7/12]

Reason Republicans oppose passing tax breaks for 98% of Americans right now?  Perhaps that “random person.”

Marching Orders from Grover Norquist: “…Speaker Boehner has taken the pledge and always kept it as a congressman. He leads a caucus in the House of Representatives, where all but six Republicans have made the commitment in writing to never raise taxes. He knows he leads a Republican Party that’s not going to raise taxes and that he personally is committed to that as well.” [MSNBC, 7/18/11]

The middle class has had enough of the Republican top-down economics that reward the richest few, corporations that outsource American jobs, Big Oil and other special interests.

Congressional Republicans refuse to budge from their top-down economics that reward the wealthiest and doesn’t create jobs.  As the President said, “[Republicans say] that the best way to create prosperity is to let it trickle down from the top.  They believe that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, it’ll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting education and training and by raising middle-class taxes.  I think they’re wrong.”

The House GOP even voted 13 times in the last 18 months against considering Democratic efforts to prevent or discourage the shipping of American jobs overseas and to crack down on offshore tax havens; and in favor of pro-outsourcing measures.

It’s time for the GOP to do what’s best for American families and pass tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans that we all agree on, strengthening the middle class and end weeks or months of economic uncertainty.