So, fiscal cliff. Austerity crisis. Whatever. Obama has decided that upper tax brackets will go up, and so it will happen, since anything else requires his signature in lieu of an override vote in both houses of Congress. The whole package of Bush tax cuts expires in January, plus useful items like unemployment insurance, and a pile of spending cuts take effect that impact the military more than any other single target. Nobody wants this to happen, but billionaires didn’t buy the GOP to see their taxes go up, so Republicans need to fix the top tax bracket a lot more than Democrats worry about the spending cuts. This is true in particular because the cuts leave the major social welfare programs alone.
The Senate already passed a tax cut extension for income under $250k, so everyone with a TV knows that the clock is ticking on John Boehner’s side of the chess board. If Boehner can get Democrats to cut their own social welfare programs then at least the GOP gets something they can throw a fit about in 2014 and get some payback for those tax hikes. That gambit worked for a while, but some time around the 2005 Social Security fiasco people started to learn.
So, Obama says to contact your Congressperson. That sounds like an excellent idea for two reasons. One, Obama has pretty good political instincts. Two, Mitch McConnell says don’t do it.
If you have a Republican Representative, let him or her know that all they have to do is pass the Senate bill to save everyone’s first $250k from a tax hike in January. Maybe your Rep thinks that social welfare programs need to be cut. Ok, how? Tell them to stop acting like a three year old and propose something.
Find your Congresscritter here.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Guide for first-timers here.