You’re Being Held Hostage

It’s Time for the GOP to Set the Middle Class Free

Republicans are at it again. They’re taking middle class tax cuts hostage in order to protect tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — including millionaires and billionaires.

Today, President Obama and Democrats called for an immediate extension of the Bush tax cuts for everyone making less than $250,000. Even those making more than that would still get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of income. So everyone still gets a tax cut, but the wealthiest two percent of Americans just don’t get an extra one. It’s simple. It’s fair.

Republicans claim they are for middle class tax cuts. Democrats are for middle class tax cuts. Should be a no brainer then to agree on what we agree on, right?

Wrong. Republicans are refusing to go along and are once again demanding that the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans get to keep their extra tax cuts.

Here’s three reasons why it’s time to say enough is enough and let these wasteful giveaways to the wealthy expire once and for all:

  1. Tax cuts for the wealthy did not and will not create jobs: Instead of promoting economic growth, the Bush tax cuts ushered in the worst job growth in decades. They didn’t create jobs then and they won’t create jobs now. Period.
  2. We can’t afford more giveaways to the wealthy: The Bush tax cuts, along with two wars, blew a giant hole in the deficit, turning record surpluses into record deficits. We could never afford these giveaways to the wealthy, but we definitely can’t afford them now. Giving away hundreds of millions of dollars more to those who don’t need it just means that instead we’ll have to cut Medicare, Social Security, and programs that benefit the middle class each and every day.
  3. The wealthy are doing just fine: Wages and income for most Americans have been stuck in neutral (or worse) for the last decade. By contrast, the wealthiest Americans are getting wealthier and income inequality has reached levels not seen since before the Great Depression. The wealthy are doing just fine and don’t need a handout paid for by the rest of us.

One more thing — don’t believe the GOP’s false arguments about why we can’t raise taxes on “job creators,” as they prefer to call the wealthy. Here’s three charts showing why raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans won’t hurt the economy. In fact, actual evidence shows that it will help the economy.

Annual economic growth has been strongest when the top tax rate was higher than it is today:

Job creation has also been stronger when the top tax rate was higher:

Already, taxes on both the rich and investment income (which for the last few decades has been taxed at a lower rate than wage income) are at historic lows, but they didn’t lead to the job creation that was promised by the Bush administration:

So Republican claims about tax increases on the rich destroying the economy — which they make every time such a policy is suggested — are just fearmongering, with no evidence backing them up.

IN ONE SENTENCE: If Republicans want to prove that they care about the middle class and not just the wealthy, it’s time for them to pass an extension of the middle class tax cuts — right now.

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Advocacy Team