The editorial board of the Washington Post had some harsh words for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. The Post took issue with her for pushing to permanently extend “middle class” tax cuts for people earning up to $1 million annually. The Post was warning that it makes Democrats look “almost as irresponsible” as Republicans defending tax cuts for the rich.
In an editorial titled “Nancy Pelosi’s risky pander on taxes,” the Post attacked Pelosi over a letter that she sent to House Speaker John Boehner urging him to schedule a vote to extend the “middle class” Bush-era tax cuts for people who make below $1 million annually. This stands as a strange middle ground for the San Francisco liberal, as President Obama does not want the cuts to extend to anyone making more than $250,000 and the Republicans don’t want taxes raised on anyone, including multimillionaires.
The Editorial says of Pelosi,
“Pelosi has an interesting definition of what constitutes the middle class. She believes it includes people earning anything less than $1 million a year — at least when it comes to tax cuts. By raising the middle class threshold from $250,000 to $1 million, about 43 percent of federal revenue will be lost in 2013 and that is likely to be the case for subsequent years. An unintended effect of Pelosi’s proposal is that those earning more than $1 million would be among its biggest beneficiaries, as they would enjoy the benefit of paying lower marginal rates on their first $1 million of income. Ms. Pelosi and others who have taken this position … are contemplating spending several hundred billion dollars over the coming decade to help the wealthiest Americans. That is several hundred billion dollars in a time of scarce resources and mounting debt — money that could be used, as Ms. Pelosi well knows, for worthier purposes,”
The Post has repeatedly slammed Republicans for their unwillingness to raise taxes on the wealthy to plug budget gaps.
The Editorial continued,
“The looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of 2012 and the intransigence of the Republican anti-tax position does not come close to justifying Ms. Pelosi’s move to make even more of the Bush tax cuts permanent. Do Democrats really want their new slogan to be: ‘Almost as irresponsible as the Republicans?’”
Democrats are arguing that Pelosi is raising the threshold to$1 million annually to show that Republicans will not extend tax cuts unless they are included for millionaires and billionaires too.