I'm shocked to hear on the news that President Barack Obama is negotiating with Republicans over the Bush tax breaks. Candidate Obama promised to keep them for all but the top-earning 2% of taxpayers. He reneged on that promise, among others, and now the tax breaks are going to expire. If I recall correctly, the breaks were established because we had a surplus, and the GOP said we needed to share it with taxpayers. They had a sunset because we didn't know whether the surplus would last, and indeed Bush managed to turn it into the worst deficits of our history.
Of course, GOP policy is tax breaks are good when there's a surplus, and also good when there's a deficit. Now they insist we keep them not only for the disappearing middle class, but also for their wealthy supporters. President Obama, after spending a year watering down his health care bill in order to earn the support of zero Republicans, is following the same course.
He ought to tell them forget it, let the cuts expire, and tell America the GOP is at fault for insisting their rich friends earn another 800 billion dollars over the next decade, even as unemployment funds run out right before Christmas. (And he ought to support teachers rather than vilify them, but that ain't happening anytime soon either.) Lest you think all politicians are slime, here's Bernie Sanders, a voice in the wilderness, but one that speaks the sad truth.
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