By: Jeffrey Klein
Political Buzz Examiner
In an attempt to advance President Obama’s proposal to extend the ‘Bush-era tax cuts’ for one year, but only for those making less than $250,000 per year, Senate Democrats drew a line in the sand that they believe has Republicans cornered so they can win the tax-cut battle; however, in reality, they gave Team Romney a second ‘trump card’ with which to win the election war in November.
A top Senate Democrat, Patty Murray (D-WA) set the table this morning for a serious game of political ‘chicken,’ warning Republicans that if they did not agree to allow federal income tax rates rise on America’s top earners, her caucus was willing to let all the Bush-era tax rates expire at the end of the year and in effect, let Americans fall off what many in Washington call the “fiscal cliff,” according to a FOXNews article today.
Additionally, $1.2 trillion in automatic ‘sequester’ budget cuts will go into effect–a product of last summer’s failed [national] debt-ceiling increase deal Super Committee–that would hit the military particularly hard, as President Obama had already called on Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to cut $478 billion from the Pentagon budget.
Most economists believe that the combined negative economic effect of these two measures would likely usher the nation into a deeper recession.
But Sen. Murray indicated Democrats are willing to let the deadline pass in order to better their negotiating position.
So if we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus.
We will have a new fiscal and political reality … If the Bush tax cuts expire, every proposal will be a tax cut proposal and the pledge to not raise taxes will no longer keep Republicans boxed in and unable to compromise.
If middle-class families start seeing more money coming out of their paychecks next year — are Republicans really going to stand up and fight for new tax cuts for the rich?
Are they going to continue opposing the Democrats’ middle-class tax cut once the slate has been wiped clean?
I think they know this would be an untenable political position. And I hope this pushes them to come to the table with real revenue now before being forced to the table if we don’t get a deal before the New Year.
Sen. Murray not only made the threat in her speech today, she also preemptively argued that Republicans would be to blame if that happens–suggesting that if Republicans don’t negotiate to her party’s liking on the automatic ‘sequester’ spending cuts–her party would let those cuts happen, too.
So anyone who tells you sequestration is going to simply disappear because both sides want to avoid it is either fooling themselves, or trying to fool you. It is going to have to be replaced, and that replacement is going to have to be balanced.
Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) is totally on board with this plan too, as his spokesman, Adam Jentleson, told Fox Business Network that [Reid] has “always said that we’re not changing anything until Republicans compromise and embrace a plan that includes revenues.”
How strong is the hand of cards Democrats hold?
After four years of stagnant job growth and high unemployment, in an economy that is persistently perceived as never having exited the recession, the plans and policies of the Obama Administration and Democrats have proven to be utter failures–with no ‘hope and change’ in sight.
Obama cannot run on his record–no matter how it is spun or who they blame.
And, if just maintaining the Bush tax cuts for the middle class were the “silver bullet” for our situation, after four years of having them we should have already have been making progress; instead, by all accounts, we are falling back into recession.
Finally, Senators Reid and Murray have made a seriously flawed assumption–Democrats maintain control of the Senate and retain the White House.
That is not likely because an unwavering 54% of [Likely] American [Voters] have wanted Obamacare repealed since it was signed into law over two years ago.
Now, with the Supreme Court having upheld it, the only way to repeal it is to vote Gov. Mitt Romney into the White House, and vote control of the Senate to Republicans.
That was the first November election ‘trump card.’
Now, the Democrats have dealt the Republicans a second ‘trump card,’ because the above November election scenario is also the only way to reinstate the Bush tax cuts for everyone, and to create and implement the necessary solution for the automatic “sequester” cuts.
The second ‘trump card.’
With two ‘trump cards’ in hand, we can let the Democrats watch the Bush tax cuts expire and sequester begin on January 1, 2013–because Barack Obama has already demonstrated how quickly things can change using ‘Executive Orders,’ and Mitt Romney is an expert in that arena.
This feels just like Democrats delivered us ‘Christmas in July.’