The Bush tax cuts will expire on December 31, 2012 and the event will be described as going off a financial cliff. It won’t be a disaster if financial stimulus like an infrastructure building bill is enacted in their place. Why is the GOP so insistent on retaining the Bush tax cuts, especially for the top income earners, who don’t really need the money? In my opinion the reason is that the Bush tax cuts reduce government revenue so much that they are causing most of the deficit, and allow the GOP to press their agenda for cutting and then eliminating the government safety net.
Mitt Romney said that he wasn’t concerned about the poor, and he meant it. He did say that he would fix holes in the safety net, but he meant that he would fix the holes by eliminating the safety net entirely. The Republicans don’t really care if the wealthy pay a little more in income taxes; they care that reducing the deficit will reduce pressure to cut government spending on programs they oppose as immoral, such as Social Security and Medicare. The GOP have always opposed these programs and they see the current situation as a golden opportunity to eliminate them.
The only legitimate Federal government spending to their minds is on defense and disaster relief, and then disaster relief to wealthy communities like those affected by the Colorado wild fires. If it is the poor affected by a disaster like Katrina in New Orleans, that is another story.
- House Republicans Defeat Bill To Extend Bush Tax Cuts On Income Below $250K (thinkprogress.org)
- Romney Tax Plan ‘Mathematically Impossible’ (newser.com)
- Fiscal Cliff Crisis Rooted in Senate Ploy to Pass Bush Tax Cuts (bloomberg.com)