The Bush-era tax cuts have proven to be the stone too heavy for President Obama to lift throughout his first term. Once again, the president will be calling for another year-long extension of these cuts, but this time it comes with stricter conditions.
The Bush-era cuts are set to expire on January 1st, and Obama is expected to push their extension once again. However, this time around only families earning less than $250,000 annually will reap the benefits of the controversial tax cuts, reports Newser. “This isn’t about taxing job creators, this is about helping job creators,” said the president, noting that higher tax rates for higher earners wouldn’t hurt small businesses, according to Reuters. As expected, opinions are divided, with Democrats calling for a $1 million cut-off for the tax-cuts and Republicans calling for unilateral cuts. Obama’s plan will add another $150 billion to the already dramatically high national deficit.
It’s a risky move, especially so close to election-time. So why is Obama doing it?
Maggie Haberman of Politico calls the measure a “different form of political baseball than he played for much of his term,” adding that “instead of going for grand slams, he’s been going for a series of singles — the immigration executive action, for instance, was one of them. It’s a move related to the middle class, which also seeks to box in his rival.”
Mark Landler of the NY Times suggests that the president is merely trying to bounce back from Friday’s dismal jobs report, saying, “the biggest advantage of the tax proposal may be simply to move the political discussion off the job market.” He also notes that “by calling for an extension for just a year, Mr. Obama hopes to make Republicans look obstructionist and unreasonable” if they reject the proposal. If they keep constant on their position, he can actually put them on the defensive by accusing them of only looking out for the rich.
“We’ve tried it their way. It didn’t work,” said President Obama. Not looking for a fight, he added, “that argument shouldn’t threaten you,” continuing, “Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans hostage while we debate the merits of tax cuts for the wealthy.”
“Let’s agree to do what we agree on. That’s what compromise is all about,” Obama concluded.
Do you think that President Obama’s adjusted Bush-era tax cut plan is a fair compromise or is it just more kicking of the proverbial can down the proverbial road? Sound off below!