It is time that we all admit the Bush tax cuts were a failure. These tax cuts were enacted in 2001 and 2003 with the promise that they would not add to the burden of future taxpayers. But the government has run a huge deficit every year since, even during the boom years just before the Great Recession. The tax cuts were supposed to be paid for by the boost in economic growth from the tax cuts, plus a reduction in the size of government. But the economy didn’t grow as much as they predicted, and neither President Bush nor the Republican-controlled Congress made any serious attempt to shrink the government during the Bush presidency.
President Obama has proposed that those with an annual income over $250,000 be taxed at the rates in effect before the Bush tax cuts, as they benefited most from these tax cuts. I couldn’t agree more. But Republicans in Congress continue to oppose this. Most of them helped create the problem by voting for the tax cuts but not following through with the promised spending reductions at that time. They now insist the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
Rather than raise taxes, Republicans propose drastic cuts to our safety net. Hang on for the ride as the Republicans push us to the edge of the fiscal cliff, or force a government shutdown early next year as they try to protect their wealthy benefactors/contributors from a tax increase.