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Bush Tax Cuts: Will you light a candle with me?

Most people outside outside the Republican Party accept that the Bush Tax Cuts are a major driver of our current deficits. They were extended in 2010 in large part to President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. The extension could not have happened without their active aid. Their motivation for doing so was understandable – they wished to preserve tax cuts for the middle class. Congressional Republicans promptly took those middle class tax cuts hostage – “Extend the budget busting tax cuts for the top 2% or nobody gets a tax break.” Despite a hue and cry from progressives that rewarding hostage-taking was bad government, President Obama and the Democrats gave in.

It is said that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. So I have “lit a candle” by writing President Obama and my Congressional delegation. I told them that I was a middle class taxpayer who did not want my tax cut if that meant continuing the budget busting Bush Tax Cuts. I do care about reducing the debt and if takes giving my tax cut to ensure that the most well off contribute a fairer share to a government they largely control and benefit from (think copyright, oil subsidies, etc), then that is a price I”m glad to pay. How about you?

If you’d to “light a candle” by contact the President on this issue, go to his contact page. If you’re a fellow Alaskan, light a candle by visiting our delegation’s contact pages:

I’d suggest reading Senator Begich’s recent Op-Ed on reducing the deficit before writing him. If there are things you can agree with, mention those along with the need to let all the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Be polite with Murkowski and Young. I did not use the phrase “hostage-taking” with them and if there’s a chance at all of getting them to listen, neither should you. I think it is fair to remind them that they both voted (along with Begich) for the Budget Control Act and that if they insist on reversing those spending cuts, they better pay for them by letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire.

Finally, if you aren’t in Alaska, you can use the resources at usa.gov to locate contact information for your senators and representative.

Chances are good our efforts will once again be ineffective. Preserving middle class tax cuts are once again a priority for President Obama. House Speaker Boehner says that any tax increase is off the table. The stage is set for another hostage crisis that results in an extension of budget busting tax cuts for the most well off. But maybe if enough of us tell our officials “Enough is enough! Let the Bush Tax Cuts die!”  maybe the cuts will end and we’ll start on the road to government solvency. We won’t know unless we light our candles of protest – are you with me?

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you. Excellent–we will all have to pay our share of taxes to get rid of the deficit. It will not work for people whose income is over 250,000 to pay more. We will all have to sacrifice for the future generation.

  2. The Bush “tax cuts for the rich” were tax cuts for small business people, a fraction of whom happen to be rich. What is it about small business that you don’t like? Small business has not one ally in the
    Democratic party. My wife and I had a retail business for about ten years, the first five of which every red cent we earned was handed over to Uncle Sam.
    After the cuts, we actually made enough to hire some help. The Democratic voters have allowed their politicians to work them up into a froth over something that is not a problem. The real problems will begin when you can’t find a pizzeria, coffee shop or nail salon still in business that you can afford.

  3. Hi David. Letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire would return rates to where they were when Bill Clinton left office on January 20, 2001. There were lots of coffee shops, pizzerias and nail salons in business then.

    I’ll take what you say about your own business, although I’m surprised your early business losses didn’t offset some of your tax. Most businesses do lose money in the first few years and these losses can be written off.

    In general, if we define a small business as as one that has at least $5,000 in tax deductions for activities that are considered “businesslike” — such as expenses related to employees, inventories, office supplies, and rent — and has income and deductions of less than $10 million. Or as someone who derives at least 25 percent of his or her adjusted gross income from a small business, then only 2.5% of small business owners are going to pay the top two tax rates that would exist if the Bush Tax Cuts expire.

    According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the only way that people can assume that most “small businesses” would be affected by the Bush Tax Cuts expiring is if you define a small business as “any taxpayer who receives any income from any “pass-through” entity (that is, an entity that does not pay corporate income tax on its profits but instead passes them through to its owners, who pay tax at the individual rates).” This definition includes media giant Tribune Co.[9] and the industrial firm AMSTEAD Co., which according to Forbes had revenues of $2.8 billion in 2007.

    You can read more at Allowing High-Income Bush Tax Cuts to Expire Would Affect Few Small Businesses, available at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3806.

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