IT'S ABOUT TIME – AT 7:47 A.M. ET: Republicans are waking from their usual beauty sleep and are realizing that the Bush tax cuts, which expires at the end of December, are popular, and, thought, may actually be a great campaign issue. From Fox:
With the economy still sputtering, Republicans are drawing renewed attention to the looming expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and warning that the rollback will "clobber" everyone from small business owners to middle-class families.
Though the tax cuts passed by Congress with the encouragement of former President George W. Bush are often described as a boon for the wealthy, the changes passed in 2001 and 2003 lowered taxes for every income bracket.
Democrats have pledged to shield middle-class taxpayers from the Dec. 31 expiration though no action has been taken yet. Democratic leaders reportedly have suggested holding off taking up extending the cuts until after the November election and a report released by President Obama's debt commission.
To allow the expiration would be devastating, says Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl.
"That's going to be a huge hit to the economy," Kyl, R-Ariz., told "Fox News Sunday."
Asked where Congress is going to find the hundreds of billions of dollars it would take to finance a continuation of the cuts, Kyl said it's not a matter of finding more dollars for spending that hasn't occurred yet.
"You should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes," he said.
COMMENT: This becomes a big issue when the middle class and small business owners realizes how much their taxes will rise if the Bush cuts expire. In some cases, rates will go up 50%, from 10% to 15%.
Republicans have to explain this, and do it in ways that the average voter can understand. Dems will probably do something to ease the problem for the middle class, but Democratic hostility to business is such that the small business guy may be left with a huge bill.
Major issue, winning issue, if presented well by attractive candidates.
July 12, 2010