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31 Democrats Cave On Taxes

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31 Congressional Democrats are pushing to extend tax cuts for the wealthy.

Christina Bellantoni at Talking Points Memo has the story. And Brian Beutler did the initial reporting yesterday.

Here’s their rationale in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed by all 31 Democrats.:

“Given the continued fragility of our economy and slow pace of recovery, we share their concerns,” the group wrote. “We believe in times of economic recovery it makes good sense to maintain things as they are in the short term.”

Sooooo — why do we need these folks again? We already have a party that whose whole purpose is to prevent things from happening.
Paul Krugman’s piece in the New York Times yesterday gives the background of how we got here:

So, about those tax cuts: back in 2001, the Bush administration bundled huge tax cuts for wealthy Americans with much smaller tax cuts for the middle class, then pretended that it was mainly offering tax breaks to ordinary families. Meanwhile, it circumvented Senate rules intended to prevent irresponsible fiscal actions — rules that would have forced it to find spending cuts to offset its $1.3 trillion tax cut — by putting an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2010, on the whole bill. And the witching hour is now upon us. If Congress doesn’t act, the Bush tax cuts will turn into a pumpkin at the end of this year, with tax rates reverting to Clinton-era levels.

It’s clear that raising taxes on the middle class during a down economy is a bad idea. That’s why no one is proposing this.
It’s also clear that the fiscally responsible thing to do is to let the tax cuts expire for the top two percent of earners. Cuts for this group is unlikely to do anything to improve the economy, so the argument made by the “Jackass 31” (as I have named them) is spurious.
Keep in mind, retaining these tax cuts for the rich will add $700 billion the deficit in the next ten years.
This demonstration of political expediency over principle is exactly why there has been a growing movement on the left.
It’s time to begin a movement to replace candidates like the “Jackass 31” with progressive lawmakers who will support them middle class, show true fiscal responsibility and behave like the grown ups the American electorate deserves.
We need a Tea Party on the left — a thoughtful, progressive Tea Party that mobilizes to remove candidates who have stood in the way of progress. We don’t need Republican Lite. We need committed liberals.
There’s already a ray of hope in the victory of progressive Ann McLane Kuster in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District.
Progressives need to build on wins like these by supporting groups like Howard Dean’s Democracy for America, which helped Obama take several red states in the historic 2008 election.
TPM provided a handy list of the signers that you can use to remember them in future primaries:

Rep. Jim Matheson (UT)
Rep. Gary Peters (MI)
Rep. Melissa Bean (IL)
Rep. Glenn Nye (VA)
Rep. Michael McMahon (NY)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN)
Rep. John Salazar (CO)
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN)
Rep. Dan Boren (IN)
Rep. Jim Himes (CT)
Rep. John Barrow (GA)
Rep. Ron Klein (FL)
Rep. Zack Space (OH)
Rep. Jason Altmire (PA)
Rep. Allen Boyd (FL)
Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN)
Rep. Jim Cooper (TN)
Rep. Frank Kratovil (MD)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND)
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Rep. Jim Marshall (GA)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (SD)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA)
Rep. Mike Ross (AR)
Rep. Rick Boucher (VA)
Rep. Harry Teague (NM)
Rep. Travis Childers (MS)
Rep. Walt Minnick (ID)
Rep. Harry Mitchell (AZ)
Rep. Jim Costa (CA)

See you at the polls.

-Chris

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September 17, 2010 - Posted by | Democrats, Politics, Tax Debate | , , , , , , , , ,

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