Tax Cuts or No Tax Cuts for the Wealthy?

Barack-Obama-hand-to-head.jpgWith 47 days left until the Nov. 2 congressional elections, incumbents, candidates and pollsters remain on the fence on a controversial issue President Barack Obama is strongly supporting:

Obama's position:  Terminate tax cuts for the wealthy and keep them for everybody else earning $250,000 or less. Including small businesses.

Multiple polling memos are circulating on the Hill in an effort to persuade skeptical Democrats facing close races that extending the cuts for the middle class, while allowing rates to rise on the wealthy, is a political winner, reports The Huffington Post.

Mitch-McConnell.jpgDemocrats are concerned that by holding merely a vote on extending tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less, conservative Democrats and Republicans would say they opposed the extension because it would raise taxes during rough economic times.

But by allowing a vote on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) plan to extend all the tax cuts, moderate Republicans and Democrats would be given cover.

 They could tell constituents they voted to extend all of the tax cuts, but the effort failed. The only choice left was to extend the middle-class tax cuts or let them all expire.

Sen.-Harry-Reid.jpgIt's a difficult issue for Democrats and those who are running close races have urged the party not to take up the vote before the election, reports The Huffington Post.

The fear is that Republicans will find a small-businessman -- it only takes one -- and sit him before a camera, fretting that tax hikes will make it harder for him to hire people.

Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, running a tight race in Nevada, won't spell it out that he supports allowing the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire.

Here is how he recently answered reporters' questions on the topic:

"... We have -- it appears, at this stage, we have two issues. One is taking care of the middle class and the other is taking care of the millionaires. It's pretty easy to understand where I am on that.

"I support the $250,000. I've said so many times."

Nancy-Pelosi.jpgBy allowing a vote on all of the tax cuts, Democrats hope to cut through the reluctance to raise taxes on the wealthy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made the case for moving forward with a vote on extending the middle-class cuts and allowing those for the wealthy to expire.

We favor keeping the tax cuts for everybody for the next four years, at least.  Of course, that will mean less revenue flowing into the Treasury at a time when the country has rung up the largest debt in its 234-year-old history.

What do you think?


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