Not surprisingly, President Obama is insisting on raising taxes on the top 2% of Americans. Why is this not a surprise? 1. Because in 2010 he made it very clear to the American people that he would only allow the Bush Tax cuts to extend to the wealthiest Americans on a temporary basis. Obama made it perfectly clear the extension was "temporary" and that he would not agree to extending them permanently, no matter how hard the Republicans tried to fight him. But why did the Republicans not counter Obama's comments in 2010 when they too agreed the tax cut extensions for the wealthy would only be for two years? Could it be because they honestly thought in 2010 that Obama would not be re-elected and that a Republican President would not hesitate to make the Bush Tax cuts permanent? Gee, you figure? 2. Obama ran his campaign on a major tenet that the tax cuts for the wealthy would be ended and that he intended, if re-elected, to raise the top tax rates on the top 2% of the income earners. What did the Republicans do to counter Obama's campaign rhetoric? They nominated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who made it a tenet of their campaign to extend the tax cuts permanently! Which candidate did Americans elect to the Presidency? We know this answer, but do GOP Leaders? Why then the continued effort by GOP leaders to fight raising the top tax rates? Could it be because they refuse to recognize they lost and Obama won? Could it be that like 2008, they simply cannot accept losing and instead feel it is in their best interests to take their "ball and go home" (See Charles Krauthammer's suggestion to do just that)!
Isn't it disingenuous for Republicans to claim they will "consider" cutting or capping tax deductions which relates to increases in taxes but can't publicly admit to raising tax rates? Is this lip service to Grover Norquist without admitting it is simply a matter of semantics? Why allow deductions to be capped or curtailed but not raise actual tax rates? Either way, the wealthy pay more in taxes. Unless....the Republicans want to cap deductions that the Middle Class currently benefits from...like mortgage interest deductions? Charitable deductions? When you own more than one home, deducting the mortgage insurance is generally not going to affect the wealthy like it would the Middle Class fighting to afford their lone home or to buy their first home. Without knowing which way they would go with deductions, they instead insist on raising the age of eligibility for Medicare and demand Social Security also be considered for cuts. Huh? The Republicans voted against Social Security in the 1930's and have been picking a fight since to erase the last vestiges of New Deal. But what about the American People? Election Exist Polls showed overwhelmingly that Americans want Social Security and Medicare left untouched AND want the top tax rates raised! So why the continued GOP fight?
Congress created the "Fiscal Cliff" and they can end it. One sure fire way to do so would be for the Republican leadership to fess up to the American People and explain why they continue to protect the rich representing the 2% of Americans instead of the 98% of Americans. Until then, the Republicans should consider negotiating in good faith instead of acting like "Sore Losers" (again)!