Tax-rate class warfare backfiring on Democrats?

posted at 2:15 pm on September 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats hoped to drive a wedge in the electorate with some class-warfare rhetoric on tax hikes coming at the end of the year, painting the GOP as the party of the rich and themselves as the defenders of the middle class.  The Boston Globe reports that the strategy has begun to backfire, thanks to Democrats breaking ranks and the lack of any action at all before the House recess.  Instead of looking like class warriors for the average Joe, they look instead like a pack of incompetents:

President Obama’s urgent call for Congress to immediately extend tax breaks for the middle class was supposed to create a defining Democratic issue and cast Republicans as defenders of the rich on the eve of crucial midterm elections. Now, three weeks later, Democrats are further divided and Republicans are using the tax cut issue to their advantage.

The House and Senate adjourned last night, leaving the central pocketbook issue to be decided after the Nov. 2 midterm elections — and just weeks before the tax cuts are set to expire. That indecision injects more uncertainty into whose taxes will go up, and by how much. …

The tax cut extension is expected to remain a political issue over the next few weeks, but not in the way Democrats had initially intended. Rather than using it on the campaign trail against Republicans, Democrats could find themselves on the defensive as the GOP yesterday began framing the vote delay as an example of government ineptitude and cowardice.

It’s also an example of economic illiteracy, and the Globe itself falls into that same category.  Barack Obama keeps talking about how an extension at the highest brackets will “cost” $700 billion over ten years, but voters are just a little smarter than that.  The tax hikes that Democrats want to impose — and that’s what they are — will cost taxpayers $700 billion dollars over ten years as the government grabs the money from their pocketbooks.  That isn’t money owed to the Treasury, but money that Democrats in Congress want to grab.

It’s also worth pointing out that even if one accepted Barack Obama’s specious argument, which voters clearly don’t, he’s also the same President who demanded $787 billion in a single year.  That didn’t put people to work in new and sustainable jobs; why should taxpayers of any stripe cough up another $700 billion over the next decade over what Washington already takes?  Private enterprise has a better chance of making that money work in economy-expanding directions than the failed top-down Obamanomics policies have done over the last two years.

Maybe Congress should stop spending so much money rather than demanding more private capital to waste on ineffective command-economy policies.  That, at least, would have the novelty of never having been tried, at least not in recent memory.

Combine the class-warfare hypocrisy and the incompetence with the obvious pusillanimity of skedaddling out of Washington before the election without bothering to confront the issue in a manner for which voters can hold them accountable, and it has all the ingredients of a political disaster.  And if even the Boston Globe can figure that out and reports it, then Democrats have no excuse and no fig leaf left.


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Barry seems like the gift that keeps on giving to the right.

Now only if he’d resign and let Slow Joe take the job once January rolls around and the new Congress is sworn in…

teke184 on September 30, 2010 at 2:23 PM

It’s also an example of economic illiteracy

You’re still falling for the conventional wisdom that this destruction of our economy isn’t intentional.

It is.

fossten on September 30, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Man, it really has to suck when people figure out your Statist ideology doesn’t work and they turn on you.

Chip on September 30, 2010 at 2:24 PM

what a bunch of maroons

cmsinaz on September 30, 2010 at 2:25 PM

they look instead like a pack of incompetents

If it looks like a duck….

CurtZHP on September 30, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Congresschickens.

kingsjester on September 30, 2010 at 2:27 PM

It’s also worth pointing out that even if one accepted Barack Obama’s specious argument, which voters clearly don’t, he’s also the same President who demanded $787 billion in a single year.

Seems like the Republicans could make a good ad out of this. Obama wants the entire nation to pay higher taxes for 10 years in order to pay for his miserable failure of a stimulus.

jwolf on September 30, 2010 at 2:28 PM

You’re still falling for the conventional wisdom that this destruction of our economy isn’t intentional.

It is.

fossten on September 30, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Unfortunately, it’s proving to be a lot harder than he thought.

Lanceman on September 30, 2010 at 2:28 PM

they look instead like a pack of incompetents

If it looks like a duck….

CurtZHP on September 30, 2010 at 2:26 PM

More like the old Cheech and Chong routine “Cheborneck”.

“Looks like sh!t. Smells like sh!t. Tastes like sh!t. Good thing we not step in it.”

teke184 on September 30, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Again, the Dims spent the last several years portraying the Bush Tax Cuts as a gift for the wealthy only. Before they start braying for extending the tax cuts only for the middle class, perhaps they should explain why, all of a sudden, the middle class got tax cuts in the first place. Because the Dims spent the better part of a decade denying such cuts ever existed. Go ahead, Dims. I’m listening…

joejm65 on September 30, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Don’t forget that they are incompetent fascists and can still cause lots of destruction.

Dhuka on September 30, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Another thing these dummies don’t seem to understand is that when you tax the hell out of businesses, that cost isn’t absorbed. Raising the taxes on the rich is just the same as raising taxes on everybody. The rich won’t be paying it. It’s passed on to the consumers.

Guardian on September 30, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Golly, do you think these voters are watching Fox, listening to Glenn and Rush, getting on blogs that tell the truth? Could it be that these voters don’t have a job and want one and realize those ‘filthy rich’ are the ones who employee people? I can hardly wait till Nov.2!
L

letget on September 30, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Because the Dims spent the better part of a decade denying such cuts ever existed. Go ahead, Dims. I’m listening…

joejm65 on September 30, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Good point. I have liberal friends in the middle brackets that still insist Bush made their taxes go UP.

Missy on September 30, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Thieves can’t afford for citizens to defend themselves from being robbed.

I’m paraphrasing Obama’s “pay for these tax cuts” spiel.

ButterflyDragon on September 30, 2010 at 2:34 PM

If it looks like a duck….

CurtZHP on September 30, 2010 at 2:26 PM

We can tax it under the new Waterfowl Are Revenue Act regulations?

Abby Adams on September 30, 2010 at 2:35 PM

pusillanimity

.
Damn Ed, you channeling William F. Buckley jr again?

LincolntheHun on September 30, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Would someone please advise Odumbo to speak proper English as the POTUS. “You gotta” for example, just doesn’t sound Presidential.

rjoco1 on September 30, 2010 at 2:36 PM

They are like the kid who begs for a puppy but Mom says “No puppy. How about a goldfish? If you can take care of that we’ll see about a puppy.”

Well Goldie has been floating fins up in half a bowl of scummy water for a couple of months, but now the kid thinks he deserves a pony.

He doesn’t deserve even a single Sea Monkey.

Lily on September 30, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Boehner had the votes to pass the tax cut extension and Pelosi refused to allow it to the floor for a vote. She doesn’t favor the cuts. Pelosi wants them to expire.

But you know what? People know that 250k isn’t a lot of money. Okay, Okay, except for those living in ma’s basement.

250k IS middle class, but Pelosi and ODumbass are stuck in the 1920s.

dogsoldier on September 30, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Unfortunately, it’s proving to be a lot harder than he thought.

Lanceman on September 30, 2010 at 2:28 PM

There. Fixed it for you.

UnderstandingisPower on September 30, 2010 at 2:39 PM

pusillanimity

I’m surprised the spam filter didn’t reject that nugget.

BacaDog on September 30, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Was watching Maddow the other night and she was dumbfounded as to why Democrats weren’t pushing the tax issue. She thought it would be an easy victory over the GOP and a great opportunity to cast them as the tools of the rich and couldn’t understand why Democrats weren’t exploiting this golden opportunity.

I should probably point out she wasn’t trying to be ironic. She was 100% sincere

Planet Moron on September 30, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Would someone please advise Odumbo to speak proper English as the POTUS. “You gotta” for example, just doesn’t sound Presidential.

rjoco1 on September 30, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Imagine what Bammie’s statements would look like in the liberal newspapers if they transcribed them literally, as they do with Palin and others that they find icky.

slickwillie2001 on September 30, 2010 at 2:49 PM

California taxed the businesses out of their State and so did New York State and the Federal Government ran the corporations out of the country. We have one of the highest corporate tax structures in the world. With just about all the golden geese gone these governments, state and federal, are looking for ways to support their entitlement programs and bigger government. We the people realize this BS Congress is trying to feed us.

mixplix on September 30, 2010 at 2:50 PM

I told my boss that he had no choice but to give me a $50,000 raise because if he didn’t it would cost me $50,000 a year, and there was no way I could afford that.

Cicero43 on September 30, 2010 at 2:51 PM

OT: AoS has the latest Rasmussen numbers up for Johnson-Feingold in WI.

It’s up to a 12-point lead for Johnson, which means that the Dems will probably start a retreat from the state shortly. The theorized “Midwestern Dem Extinction Event” seems to be going ahead on schedule.

teke184 on September 30, 2010 at 2:51 PM

The economy reminds me of teachers and their unions…teachers would be paid what they deserve, teachers would be honored the way they should—if they didn’t have such a dismal record of failure, caused by supporting failed policies, and protecting failed teachers.
Honestly, people would not mind paying taxes—if it showed that Washington would do something worthy with those taxes. If there was actually some tangible return, and accountability.
But they just want money, and show no accountability.
Washington is a money pit…it consumes and produces nothing.
Like a volcano…it spews molten policies that consume everything it touches, all the while growing larger.

right2bright on September 30, 2010 at 2:54 PM

pusillanimity of skedaddling

Someone get a new thesaurus?

publiuspen on September 30, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Why aren’t more politicians talking about the child tax credit, which will double if congress doesn’t act?

For crazy parents of five like myself, that’s a $2500 tax increase, and I certainly ain’t the über-rich. (That evil Bush guy gave me that tax cut)

It’s ridiculous that America can’t plan their finances for the coming year because of our congress’ incompetence.

caveman on September 30, 2010 at 2:56 PM

You win teh internet for use of the word “skedaddling.”

Beo on September 30, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Nancy isn’t worried about her seat, and keeping it, and doesn’t give a fig, or a leaf to the endangered Dems. Boehner reportedly had the votes, and she shut the door in his face. She flat out doesn’t care. All she wants, is what she wants, and I think Obutthead just goes along for the ride. She has him on a short leash.

capejasmine on September 30, 2010 at 2:57 PM

The politics of envy (once it was a sin -that’s why they want to hide the 10 commandments)

I suspect that after watching these arrogant ruling types come completely out of the socialist closet,the masses are beginning to understand that when the left says tax the rich, they really mean that anyone who has a penny to their name will be a potential target. The only ones that don’t pay taxes are the ruling/prosecuting comlex.

Don L on September 30, 2010 at 2:57 PM

I still think this photo looks like barack is hiking up his left butt cheek to crack some nasty gas.

And as always, pelosi and biden are there cheering him on.

morons

DuctTapeMyBrain on September 30, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Barack Obama keeps talking about how an extension at the highest brackets will “cost” $700 billion over ten years, but voters are just a little smarter than that.

These are the same folks who go around saying that a third of the money dumped into porkulus “went to tax cuts”. Most people (but apparently not journalists) are smart enough to wonder why “tax cuts” require cash payments of some kind. Real tax cuts consist of the government forgoing tax collections or reducing tax rates on actual tax payers, not cutting checks to people who might not even be paying any income tax at all.

That already has a name: welfare.

forest on September 30, 2010 at 3:00 PM

“Why aren’t more politicians talking about the child tax credit, which will double if congress doesn’t act?”

For the left, encouraging good sized families is the opposite of their souls They kill off the evil humans as much as they can -it’s for the children.” The demographics continue to deteriorate for white members of Western Civilization.

Don L on September 30, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Combine the class-warfare hypocrisy and the incompetence with the obvious pusillanimity of skedaddling out of Washington before the election without bothering to confront the issue in a manner for which voters can hold them accountable, and it has all the ingredients of a political disaster.

Dems: Quick, let’s run out of town to tell voters why we should raise their taxes!

Steve Z on September 30, 2010 at 3:11 PM

teke184 on September 30, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Wow, looks like Feingold is really done then. If he’s out, I suspect the wave is going to be big enough to bring a bunch more over the top.

It is going to be a fun election night for sure.

Missy on September 30, 2010 at 3:12 PM

These are the same folks who go around saying that a third of the money dumped into porkulus “went to tax cuts”.

Liberals think tax cuts are “spending” because that’s revenue the government isn’t getting, so it is therefore unavailable to pay for varioius government programs, and thus they need to make up the shortfall.

Yeah, I know, it’s stupid.

Missy on September 30, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Almost makes me yearn for the wise, responsible, rational planning of the Carter days.

Is there a term like “misery index” we can use to describe the polls that measure satisfaction with Democrat leadership?

hawksruleva on September 30, 2010 at 3:19 PM

If Ed had included the word kerfuffle in this post, he would have taken the trifecta.

pusillamity* skedaddling* kerfuffle = winnah!

onlineanalyst on September 30, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Good point. I have liberal friends in the middle brackets that still insist Bush made their taxes go UP.

Missy on September 30, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Missy, Bush probably did make their taxes go up. When the economy is good and you earn more money your taxes do go up.

Oleta on September 30, 2010 at 3:27 PM

The DEMS are just done for. Americans are excited to vote in November and fortunately for us, most of them are going to vote for the GOP candidate.

I just can’t imagine what could take place to change that now.

Oink on September 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

“The Windmills of His Mind”: November 2 cannot come soon enough.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/09/027346.php

onlineanalyst on September 30, 2010 at 3:44 PM

How could it NOT be a gift to the right? The Democrats have just proven that it’s more important to them to campaign than to do their jobs. There is no other way to spin it.

When I first saw it on Drudge a week or so ago that they were going to adjourn, my immediate reaction was “the House Republicans just picked up at least 3-5 more seats, and probably a least 1 seat in the Senate to boot”.

Chris of Rights on September 30, 2010 at 3:47 PM

It’s also worth pointing out that even if one accepted Barack Obama’s specious argument, which voters clearly don’t, he’s also the same President who demanded $787 billion in a single year. That didn’t put people to work in new and sustainable jobs; why should taxpayers of any stripe cough up another $700 billion over the next decade over what Washington already takes?

Thanks Ed for this analysis. When I heard a clip of him in Iowa yesterday saying “So finding $700 billion is not easy” I screamed back at the radio “you didn’t have trouble flushing $787 billion down the toilet.”

Brat on September 30, 2010 at 4:21 PM

The tax hikes that Democrats want to impose — and that’s what they are — will cost taxpayers $700 billion dollars over ten years as the government grabs the money from their pocketbooks. That isn’t money owed to the Treasury, but money that Democrats in Congress want to grab.

…that is exactly what the Progressives/Dems don’t seem to understand (or, at least, blythely dismiss): that they’re not actually entitled to the $700b!

When anyone (particularly now anyone with any Tea Party cache) dares to speak up for a lessening of the tax burden, the argument is ever the same: you want all these neat federal services, you’ve got to pay for ‘em. Fair enough. The first one — the “argument/free speech stopper” — is just as predictable: you want to fund the Department of Defense, doncha? Fair enough.

…but, how much of those taxes are to go to infrastructure? Bridges and roads have been “allowed to deteriorate” during lean and fat tax times, in favor both of pork and of special interest (environmental, academic, ideological) constituent “needs”. How much will go to the DoD? How much will go to fund “our brave young men and women in Iraq/A’stan? How much will go to the actual statutory “nuts and bolts” duties of the federal governmentm, and how much to another gold-plated airport in the late Mr. Murtha’s district, or another building/dam/post office/cat house named after the late Bob Byrd?

…and how much will go to fund “underpasses” for migrating turtles in Florida, contribute to funding half-billion dollar public schools in LA, or shore up dying union thug-empires all over the country?

The Congress is not entitled to this money. The “Bush tax cuts”, however timed-limited, wasn’t a suspension of some federal entitlement program, only now being put back to rights, the poor legislators now returned to solvency. It was an attempt to let the income earners keep more of their own property, rather that dedicating a portion of that treasure to a self-styled ruling class and their whims of social engineering and self-aggrandizement.

When you don’t trust your legislators to legislate on your behalf, you’re not likely to trust them to put their hands into your pockets.

…so, first, we fire as many of ‘em as possible, and then we readdress the tax code…with an eye to trimming down federal expenditures. If that means that the Executive Branch loses a few agencies and directorate, and that members of SEIU and AFSCME lose their jobs, so be it.

…in my house, it’s “what can we afford based on our income”. That amount is fairly finite. We don’t go out and rob our neighbors to afford a more lavish budget. That’s illegal. It’d be nice if our Congress realized that.

Puritan1648 on September 30, 2010 at 5:29 PM

They left before voting because nobody is going to get to keep their tax cut. They are going to let them all expire, and take all of the money.

Anybody who throws the lever for a Democrat thinking the Bush Tax Cuts will be extended for the Middle Class is just delusional. All Congress has to do is nothing, and another Trillion Dollars will fall into their laps…

And they’re all sitting around saying, “Nothing, ‘eh? Yeah, we can do that…”

Their class-warfare strategy does not pit the taxpaying middle class against the rich, but rather pits the taxpaying class against the non-taxpaying class.

They think that they have 51%, once you add up all the dependent class, the unions, the poor and the 5% they’ll get from outright fraud. They probably figure they can get by without any actual taxpayers…

Haiku Guy on September 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM

The “Bush Tax Cuts” or as I like to call them The “Current Tax Rate I have been paying for the last 9 years” is being hijacked by semantics. The argument is being falsly laid and class envy is being spread on thick. Today $250k is rich, and they deserve to pay more. Tomorrow $150k, then $100k. Who is telling me what the definition of rich is again?…and why is it they need to pay more into the system?

Koa on September 30, 2010 at 9:42 PM