The tax contribution of the wealthy is at a 30-year high while the rest are paying at historically low levels. So what’s the beef with the Democrats?
Recognizing that it makes no fiscal sense to raise taxes in a sluggish economy, Republicans have stubbornly resisted raising taxes until they finally caved at the “fiscal cliff” negotiations at the end of the year. President Obama couldn’t help but gloat at the time.
“Keep in mind that just last month Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans,” he said according to the New York Times. “Obviously the agreement that’s currently being discussed would raise those rates and raise them permanently.”
Two months later the Democrats want more.
Now that Congress is battling over sequester cuts, the president is once again repeating his “fair share” and “balanced approach” mantras to push for yet more revenue from the country’s already highest taxpayers. Yet according to Fox News, the wealthy’s tax contribution is nearing a 30-year high, while the rest of us pay at historically low levels.
The Congressional Budget Office reported that in 2009 the top 20 percent of earners bore 67.9 percent of the tax burden according to The Daily Caller. This morning Fox News reported that figure has risen to almost 72 percent.
Even the far-left-leaning New York Times, long a friend to the White House, has had enough. In a Sunday op-ed, Bill Keller wrote, “The White House spent last week in full campaign hysteria, blitzing online followers with the message that heartless Republicans are prepared to transform America into ‘Les Misérables’ in order to protect ‘millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, vacation homes, and private jet owners.’”
Although Keller gave the GOP its share of the blame, he reserved his most scathing remarks for the president.
The large mess we are in is in no small part the result of missed opportunities and political miscalculation at 1600 Pennsylvania. So, while we await the fate of Yellowstone Park and food safety, let’s contemplate the road not taken by the White House — that is, the high road.
Yet the president remains deaf to even his most ardent supporters.
‘‘I am prepared to do hard things and to push my Democratic friends to do hard things,’’ Obama said. ‘‘But what I can’t do is ask middle-class families, ask seniors, ask students to bear the entire burden of deficit reduction when we know we’ve got a bunch of tax loopholes that are benefiting the well-off and the well-connected, aren’t contributing to growth, aren’t contributing to our economy. It’s not fair. It’s not right.’’
This time it appears the the GOP lines are holding.
‘‘Let’s make it clear that the president got his tax hikes on Jan. 1,’’ House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Friday CNBC reports. ‘‘This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over.’’
My fingers are firmly crossed.
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