Bush Tax Cuts On The Table In December, Public Backs Democratic Position
Congress will vote on extending the Bush Tax Cuts in December, and new polling shows that the public agrees with Democrats that the cuts should be limited to the "middle class."
It looks like House and Senate Democrats are planning to vote on extending the Bush Tax Cuts for those earning less than $ 250,000/year sometime after Thanksgiving:
Washington (CNN) – Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate have decided to move ahead with votes after Thanksgiving to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less.
These decisions come hours after Democratic leaders met at the White House with President Obama, where several sources say they talked extensively about the tax cuts. Until now, how or whether Democrats would proceed on the thorny issue of extending the Bush era tax cuts was unresolved.
In the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN that Democratic leaders have scheduled a vote. “At least that will be available for members to have a vote on,” Hoyer said.
What is still unclear is if that House vote would extend so-called middle class tax cuts permanently, or just on a temporary basis.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid said he plans to vote on the middle class tax cut extension most Democrats want, but he will also allow Republicans to hold a vote on what they are demanding: a permanent extension of all Bush-era tax cuts.
On the Republican side of the aisle, plans have been announced to introduce legislation to make all of the tax cuts permanent:
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., left little room for compromise on the issue of extending the expiring income tax cuts, suggesting that if they are not made permanent by the end of the year, Republicans should redouble their efforts to do so in the new Congress.
Pence said on Thursday that he was backing up that pledge with legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to permanently extend the cuts for both the middle class and wealthy Americans.
“I really believe that the last thing we should do in the worst economy in 25 years is allow a tax increase on any American,” Pence told ABC’s Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on “Top Line.” “And we shouldn’t do it in 6 weeks, we should do it in 24 months or 36 months, we ought to start the road to recovery by saying to the American people all the current tax rates are the tax rates going forward, permanently. And then we can go to work on putting our fiscal house in order and pursuing the kind of pro-growth policy that’ll really create growth.”
Judging from the opinion polls, it would seem that the Democrats have the public behind them on this one. A new CNN poll for example, shows that only 1/3 of those polled support extending the Bush Tax Cuts for those making over $ 250,000/year and a new NBC poll shows that support for full extension of the tax cuts is even lower than that:
Congress will soon decide whether to keep in place the existing tax cuts enacted during President Bush’s time in office, or allow them to expire. Which one of the following options would be your preference for what they should do?
Eliminate all the tax cuts permanently: 10
Eliminate the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 per year, but keep them for those earning less than that: 39
Keep in place all the tax cuts for everyone for another year to three years: 23
Keep in place the tax cuts for everyone permanently: 23
Based on these polls, which have been fairly consistent over the time that extending the tax cuts has been an issue, the Democrats would seem to have the upper hand and, if they stay united, the votes to pass a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the “middle class” (as if someone earning between $ 100,000 and $ 249,999 per year is really “middle class), thus leaving the question of extending the rest of the cuts for the new Republican majority in the House to deal with.