Bush Tax Cuts: From Bipartisan to Evil

Townhall.comLarry Elder

A mere nine years ago, 12 Democratic senators voted for the current tax rates, as well as for a complete phaseout of the estate tax. Twelve! By contrast, ObamaCare and the $800 billion "stimulus" package secured votes from zero Republican senators and zero Republican senators, respectively. The media call them the "Bush tax cuts" or the "Bush-era tax cuts" -- but never the "bipartisan" Bush-era tax cuts. Had President Barack Obama crossed The Aisle to attract 12 Republican Senate votes, the Commission to Chisel Obama's Face on Mount Rushmore would be interviewing stonemasons.

When did lifting the top marginal income tax rate paid by the rich -- currently at 35 percent -- become a matter of morality, justice and decency?

To the agenda items supposedly of concern to "the little guy," add another: maligning the rich as wicked, greedy and undeserving. Stick this on the left-wing list-of-grave-issues, along with global warming/climate change, cap and trade, union card check, "investing in green jobs of the future," renewable biofuels, overturning "don't ask, don't tell," gay marriage, the DREAM Act, suing Arizona for doing something about the problem of illegal aliens, and the First Lady's war on fat kids.

The tax rate deal worked out between President Obama and the Republican leadership keeps -- not lowers -- the current income tax rates for two years. It exempts from taxes estates worth less than $5 million -- after which a 35 percent tax kicks in. Horrors! Republicans didn't even consider lower tax rates or pushing for a deal to dramatically lower spending. Ending, or at least suspending, ObamaCare wasn't even an afterthought.

Obama, in exchange, gets extensions of unemployment compensation and a payroll tax "holiday" for employees. He also gets a slew of what he slickly calls "tax cuts" -- tax credits, actually, or welfare money for those who pay nothing in federal income taxes.

And what of the "cost" of keeping the same rate for the rich? Before and immediately after the November GOP takeover of the House and pickups in the Senate, Obama railed about the alleged unaffordability of giving the rich a "$700 billion" tax break. But this is over 10 years. That comes out to $70 billion per year, or about 5 percent of the estimated $1.3 trillion annual deficit.

All this end-of-year tax-dealing has the left-left of the left acting like prisoners drumming their tin cups on the cafeteria tables and yelling, "Attica! Attica! Attica!" Read More: http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryElder/2010/12/16/bush_tax_cuts_from_bipartisan_to_evil