Should Democrats be supporting the Bush tax cuts for the middle class?

Democrats have always supported a policy of higher spending paid for by higher taxes relative to what Republicans support. Having higher spending paid for by higher taxes isn't necessarily a bad political philosophy, but it seems Democrats are wussing out on the less popular side of their philosophy (i.e. higher taxes).

Every time I have seen them asked, Democrats voice support for extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. Its strange to see Democrats supporting a revenue reducing tax cut, but its downright ridiculous to see them supporting one enacted by a very unpopular Republican president. They don't want to raise taxes on the vast majority of Americans, but they still want increased spending. There only real recourse there is to fleece the rich, but as numbers have shown, that will only carry you so far.

I honesty think that if Democrats want to continue of there political philosophy of bigger government(that is, bigger relative to what conservatives want), they are going to have to stop violating their own philosophy for fear of losing votes.

cthulhuspawn82:
Democrats have always supported a policy of higher spending ... philosophy of bigger government...

Really?

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Seems like it stays flat or goes down under democrats, and goes up under republicans. Obama is a special case due to financial crisis.

Since when have Democrats just unconditionally supported higher taxes for everyone? As far as I know they support lower taxes for the poor and higher taxes for the rich, while the republicans support a more flat (not necessarily perfectly flat, but closer to it) rate. In the current "fiscal cliff" debate, Democrats are arguing for an extension of the Bush cuts for the middle class but an expiration for the same cuts for the rich, while Republicans are arguing for an extension to both. Also, the fact that the Dems agreed to $10 in spending cuts for each dollar of increased revenue (a proposal which the Reps rejected, by the way) doesn't bode well for your assertion that "they still want increased spending."

My point was that increased spending requires an increase in revenue, and you cant just take all that extra revenue from 10% of the population, no matter how well off they are. Its always been a choice between keeping taxes down or having more government spending. Both are good, but tend to be mutually exclusive.

It just seem that Democrats are tying to tell people they can have their cake and eat it to. An increase in social spending but no new taxes, at least not for 80% of the people. I'm not trying to defend the rich, but the government cant just use them as a credit card to pay for everything they want. If you want increased spending, you need increased revenue, and you must be ready to ask everyone to contribute. You also have to be ready to lose some popularity points because of that.

Also, we are talking about the Bush tax cuts, the "BUSH" tax cuts. Is the democratic party so desperate to keep votes that they will support something enacted by a man who is their version of the anti-Christ?

cthulhuspawn82:
My point was that increased spending requires an increase in revenue, and you cant just take all that extra revenue from 10% of the population, no matter how well off they are. Its always been a choice between keeping taxes down or having more government spending. Both are good, but tend to be mutually exclusive.

It just seem that Democrats are tying to tell people they can have their cake and eat it to. An increase in social spending but no new taxes, at least not for 80% of the people. I'm not trying to defend the rich, but the government cant just use them as a credit card to pay for everything they want. If you want increased spending, you need increased revenue, and you must be ready to ask everyone to contribute. You also have to be ready to lose some popularity points because of that.

Also, we are talking about the Bush tax cuts, the "BUSH" tax cuts. Is the democratic party so desperate to keep votes that they will support something enacted by a man who is their version of the anti-Christ?

The problem is that we are in a recession. Increasing taxes on the middle class can hurt everyone. The middle class are the biggest consumers. Hurting the consumers means hurting businesses, which means a worse economy. Also, depending on what brackets you increase the tax for, you may knock people down a tax bracket or make them eligible for federal aid.

The rich can afford it. Taxing them won't hurt the economy nearly as much.

cthulhuspawn82:
My point was that increased spending requires an increase in revenue, and you cant just take all that extra revenue from 10% of the population

I don't see how that wouldn't be possible? You could probably tax that amount of money from 5% of the population too, without any problems.

As for social spending, that'll need to raise, it's not a point that can be debated, as the US is facing several crises which will increase the social spending whether anyone likes it or not. Think of obesity epidemic increasing healthcare spending, or the aging of the population increasing pension spending.

Basically the US is getting the bills for decades of small government conservatism now, because none of those problems got tackled in time or had money reserved for them. For as far as I could find for instance, pretty much every level of government in the US has pension shortfalls, meaning they will be increasing spending on those. Some states are even pretty much bankrupt due to those pension obligations.


So the course of the US budget is largely pre-determined. Social spending will either increase, or catastrophe even worse than what's coming now will ensue, and that'll cost even more money. The only question is how to deal with those things. The democrats seem to want towards a budgetary balance, while the republicans want to apply more of the failed small government conservatism that caused the budget problems in the first place.

Well, I'm not a Democrat, but I'm not in favour of any of the Bush tax cuts. Is it better to separate the tax cuts for the rich from the tax cuts for the poor and middle class, though, rather than keeping them entirely? Sure. I don't really see why decoupling them from one another would not be possible? Remember that the Bush tax cuts would've expired in their entirety anyway, so this move basically puts Republicans on the spot ("You're opposed to tax cuts for the poor and middle class?!").

The problem is they're dealing with this issue after previous Republicans have offloaded the higher tax cuts for the rich by cutting spending/aid directly to the middle class, which is almost the equivalent of a tax increase. I guess the issue the Democrats have to deal with at the moment is insuring that money can go to spending without offloading the burden on more of the middle class.

Tax cuts mean nothing without spending cuts when there is a deficit. It's a trap conservatives fall into too often; they correctly attribute economic stagnancy to government interference, but name the wrong government policy culprit. When the state spends money, it has to come from somewhere, and whether it comes from taxation, borrowing, or inflation doesn't have that much of an effect.

Democrats recognize the only way to sell a tax increase as populist is to focus only on the wealthiest. But when you consider that Democrats have long considered tax rate progressivism a political goal, and not debt reduction as forced upon them by the GOP of late, there is no personal conflict at all in raising only high income earners' rates.

In reality, does tax collection need to go up generally? Very likely, but the rich ought to be the first in line for tax hikes, last in line for tax breaks, and carrying the bulk of the burden overall.

 

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