Republicans do want to raise taxes

But unlike Democrats, they want to raise them on average working stiffs and spare the rich guys.  Ezra:

The big lie of the fiscal cliff is that the argument is between Democrats who want to raise your taxes and Republicans who want to cut your taxes. That’s wrong. Republicans want to raise taxes on more people than the White House does…

So yes, Democrats want to raise some taxes. But so do Republicans. They want to let the payroll tax cut and the various stimulus tax credits (notably the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit) expire. Those are the tax cuts that primarily help poor and middle-class Americans. In fact, 87.8 percent of the payroll tax cut’s benefits go to taxpayers making less than $200,000 and99.9 percent of the stimulus tax credits’ benefits go to taxpayers making less than $200,000.

And those tax cuts help many, many Americans. Pretty much everyone who works benefits from the payroll tax cut. Pretty much everyone who works in a low-wage job benefits from the stimulus credits. Whereas the tax cuts for income over $250,000 help about 4 percent of taxpayers, these cuts and credits help almost every taxpayer. Letting them expire will thus raise taxes on many, many more people than letting the high-income Bush tax cuts expire…

Republicans argue that these policies weren’t really tax cuts, that they were temporary stimulus measures designed to be tax cuts. And it’s true that their primary purpose was stimulus. But the Bush tax cuts were also designed to be temporary and they were sold as stimulus once the 2001 recession began.

What’s amazing is that a party that is so transparently committed to carrying water for the richest Americans at the expense of poor and average-income Americans continues to be so electorally competitive.  It’s almost like Marx was onto something.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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