Today both the House and Senate voted to let many of the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010.  The House Democrats budget plan would increase spending on domestic programs, and pay for it by letting all of the Bush tax cuts die. The Senate was much choosier. It extended $340 billion worth of tax cuts for middle and upper income people, businesses, and those inheriting large estates. Both Clinton and Obama voted for the above mentioned cuts, while John McCain voted to extend all of the tax cuts.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the Democratic budget plan. “While watching the bottom line, our budget is also a plan to get our economy moving by: helping families avoid foreclosure; lowering taxes; investing in renewable energy to make America more energy independent and to create green jobs; creating new generation of innovators by investing in math, science, engineering and technology to keep good jobs in America; rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure; and making health care more affordable for families and veterans. These are priorities that the leading economic experts have said will put our nation on solid economic footing”.

Minority Leader Roy Blunt used the tired Republican logic that not renewing the tax cuts is the same as a tax increase. “By trying to raise taxes on everything from starting a family to starting a family business, Democrats believe they’ll be pulling money out of thin air to finance their reckless spending agenda. But a $683 billion tax hike on American families is not imposed in an economic vacuum — and if this budget were ever to become law, it wouldn’t take long for real Americans to face real hardships because of it.” The problem with Blunt’s statement is that it isn’t true.

A Congressional Budget Office study of the Bush tax cuts found that 33% of the cuts went to the top 1% in income. To put it another way, those who earned $1.2 million a year or more got a tax cut of $78,460. People who earned $57,000 got a cut of $1,090. In total, two thirds of the tax cuts went to those who earn $203,000 or more. The Democratic plan isn’t a tax increase on America’s families. It is a sign that the free ride is over for the wealthy and corporate America. It is about time that the average American has the weight of the nation’s tax burden off of their shoulders.

If Republicans think that they can win in November based on the issue of the Bush tax cuts, then I want some of what they are smoking. Taxes will not be a big issue in the fall campaign. Americans are worried about a bad economy, high gas prices, health care, and the war in Iraq. The evidence is in. George W. Bush’s tax cuts have led to budget deficits and a terrible economy, and if John McCain’s whole plan is to go before the American people this fall and suggest that we keep following the policies of George W. Bush, then he is certain to lose.

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