The official deadline for action by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. The real deadline is Monday night, since any plan has to be posted for 48 hours before it’s voted on. — Mike Allen, Politico
The reality is that Democrats will not be getting Republicans to agree to let Bush’s tax cuts for the rich to expire. There are only two reasons for the deadlock (and failure):
1) Republicans believe that the better policy outcome would be for the wealthy to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction.
2) Democrats believe that the better policy outcome would be for the wealthy to pay more in taxes towards deficit reduction.
“There is one sticking divide, and that is the issue of what I call shared sacrifice, where everybody contributes in a very challenging time for our country. That’s the Bush tax cuts. In making sure that any kind of package includes everybody coming to the table and the wealthiest of Americans, those who earn over a million dollars every year, have to share, too. And that line in the sand, we haven’t seen any Republicans willing to cross yet.” — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The current (and escalating) income inequality that our nation is currently living with is caused, entirely, by tax policies that favor the wealthiest Americans:
I think I’d just like to make the point that we tend to think of income inequality in this country as though it were a force of nature, that people really don’t have any control over. And certainly there are some underlying structural trends – the decline of unions, the increase of globalization and global trade – that are driving inequality to a certain degree.
But on top of that, and pushed by the Republican party, you have a tax policy that is favoring people who are getting more and more wealthy as a result of these structural trends and rewarding them with tax cuts that are allowing them to get richer still. And that is a new story in America and it’s not the one that we like to tell ourselves.
Last week the Republicans pretended to negotiate — and then blamed the Democrats for not agreeing to their proposal: They offered the Democrats $600 billion in program cuts and only $3 billion in revenue. 600 to 3! Very balanced, right? The GOP mantra (via the Norquist pledge) is simply: tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts for the rest of us.
Kerry: “This is the most important thing of all: The Toomey plan still results in the biggest tax cut since the Great Depression. It would be the biggest tax cut since Calvin Coolidge, and we all know how that turned out. Now, we didn’t come here to do another tax cut for the wealthiest people while we’re (asking) fixed-income seniors to ante up more, people on Medicaid, who are poor, to ante up more.”
There is no way the Republicans on the supercommittee will agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent. Clearly. And, in fact, there is no way that Republicans in general have any desire to help the rest of the American people at all:
“I’ve made it pretty clear that those savings that are coming to us as a result of the wind down of the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan should be banked, should not be used to offset other spending.” — Speaker Boehner says GOP won’t allow savings from war drawdowns to go to jobs program
This sentence from an editorial back on Oct. 31 in the NYTimes says it all:
The only real compromise [Republican leadership] was interested in was one in which it dictated all of the terms.
It’s just the GOP’s make-everything-terrible-then-blame-Obama-and-elect-a-Republican-in-2012 election strategy. While they fiddle, Rome burns.