Last Updated:August 29 @ 11:37 am

Salvato: Tax the Rich Or We’ll Kill This Dog

By Frank Salvato

Back in the 1970s, National Lampoon released an edition of their parody magazine with a picture of (presumably) a man holding a gun to a dog’s head. The edition headline read, “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine We’ll Kill This Dog.” The implication, clearly, was one of extortion. Of course, the threat, made by the editors of National Lampoon, was based in dark comedy. The same cannot be said of the recent threat made by US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), regarding the expiration of the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts.” Where National Lampoon was advancing comedy, Murray and her fellow Democrats are serious. They are trying to extort congressional Republicans to join in executing tax increases on those individuals making over $200,000, and couples making over $250,000 annually, or they will preside over a gigantic tax increase for all...all for political gain.

On July 16, 2012, the number three Democrat in the Senate, US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), took to the podium at The Brookings Institute and said,

“If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus...”

The “balanced deal” that Ms. Murray alludes to is a deal that would achieve the Progressives’ and Liberals’ ultimate goal, expanding the gulf of the tax burden between what is perceived to be the Lower and Middle Classes and the Upper-Middle and Upper Classes. And while this move is little more than a class-warfare political tactic meant to advance division among the American people – and a tactic that both sides, at their cores, don’t believe will be affective – it does showcase to what extent the Progressive Movement is willing to go to achieve their agenda goals.

Simply put, Progressives and Democrats are saying they are willing to, for all practical purposes, impose an enormous tax increase on each and every American subject to federal income tax rather than allow the total of the “Bush Tax Cuts” to be extended.

The reasons I say that they are doing this all for political gain is twofold.

First, the revenue gleaned from eliminating the “Bush Tax Cuts” for those individuals making over $200,000, and couples making over $250,000, annually is negligible. According to Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,

“Using data from the president’s FY2013 budget, this chart places the revenue effects of this expiration into proper perspective. According to Office of Management and Budget data, letting the income tax measures expire for top earners will raise revenue by a projected $850 billion over the next 10 years. With the restoration of the estate, gift, and generational-skipping transfer tax parameters (also part of the Bush-tax cuts that affect high earners), revenue is projected to increase about $967 billion over the next 10 years.”

When you do the math, that means that the total of the revenue gleaned by bowing to the political extortion being perpetrated by Murray and her Progressive cohorts would fall well short of being able to fund the federal government for ten days...ten days. To wit, the “taxmageddon” tactic being floated by Ms. Murray and her comrades is less about fixing the debt, deficit and economic foes our country faces and more about political posturing for the November elections.

I qualify this statement by offering up the fact that congressional Republicans – from both houses – have been offering up comprehensive tax reform since 2006 when the Progressive Caucus of the Democrat Party took over the House. In fact, FOX News reports,

“...many people predict that the most likely outcome is for the warring parties to pass temporary legislation to punt the issue into next year to let the new Congress and whoever controls the White House to sort it out.

“Republicans are confident that Democrats -- just as they did two years ago -- will agree to extend all of the tax cuts during a post-election lame duck session. For starters, both sides are calling for just a short-term extension of the Bush tax cuts anyway in order to buy time for lawmakers to do a complete rewrite of the tax code.”

Yet, Murray insists,

“There is absolutely no reason...that we need to extend the tax cuts for the rich as a precondition for reforming the tax code.”

And there you have it. Presented with the prospect of executing comprehensive tax reform, tax reform that would create an equitable tax code while eliminating crony loopholes created and instituted by the opportunistic political class, Democrats would rather obstruct meaningful and vitally needed tax reform to further their election year agenda of affecting class warfare amongst the American people. Ms. Murray’s “taxmageddon” declaration is nothing more than disingenuous Chicago-style scare politics.

In 2009, President Obama, when queried about the expiration of the “Bush Tax Cuts,” held back on letting any of those tax rates expire during the height of the recession, saying that doing so would be "the last thing you want to do" because it would "take more demand out of the economy." He then negotiated with congressional Republicans and responsible Democrats in 2010 to extend the rates for another two years.

Today, the economy is almost exactly as dismal as it was in 2009, when Mr. Obama said – with intent and purpose – that raising taxes on anyone would be “the last thing you want to do.” Which leads to this question: If it was the wrong thing to do then, why is it acceptable to play politics with tax increases today?

The answer – again – is two-fold: 1) It’s an election year, and 2) Progressives and Liberal Democrats will do anything to win, including dividing the citizenry and throwing American taxpayer under the bus.

Nice group of people, huh?

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13 Comments

  1. wenramComment by wenram
    July 20, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    ” . . . I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus…”

    What she meant was “I will absolutely thrown middle-class families under the bus just to make a point.”.

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  2. freedomforallComment by freedomforall
    July 20, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    “If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus…”
    Well, Patty has said it all here, If we can not insure that the wealthy employers of our middile class are not penalized for their hard work and inteligance, we will insure that those same employers are not in a financial position to continue middle class employement. Plus those middle class that still could be employed will be over taxed as well.
    It all makes sense to create a larger government that cries to have more people dependant on government assistance. When everyone knows that the one solution to our problem is to reduce the tax burden on our country. Increase the private sector bussiness and reduce the government costs.
    We need representitives that understand the cost of doing bussiness, not spenders that spend monies foolishly because it is just something that is collected from tax payors.
    The people need to force our legislators to create and pass a budget. A budget that is with-in our ability to pay without borrowing. When this is done, we can start growing our economy once more.

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  3. clarkentComment by clarkent
    July 20, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    Our tax dollars are like a kids allowance to Obama and his administration to spend as they please. They can’t even pass a budget. Increasing taxes on the rich will not make a dent in the defict, it is just more money for them to spend, and in doing so this creates more class warfare. This country had better come to its senses before its too late.

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    • joereinhartComment by joereinhart
      July 20, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

      It isn’t The Country coming to it’s senses; it is the people.
      The country’s “sense” is in the heads of the people we elect to represent us.

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  4. dhartComment by dhart
    July 20, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    When, or is it even possible, to elect people to serve in our government who are willing to do what is right for our entire country? Our present elected officials are in a game of blameing the other party for what is wrong with America.
    Financially we have passed the point of saving America. Our debt and the interest is eating up all of our resources.
    Face it people we are doomed.
    The only question is what path the END will take.

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    • canada3dayerComment by canada3dayer
      July 20, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

      there’s always been a lot of blaming the other party, but I think it really took off with the 2000 election. the Democrats just could not accept (and still haven’t) that Al Gore didn’t win and they’ve been playing the extremely sore loser card ever since.

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  5. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    July 20, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    I agree dhart. Once again the Republicans have allowed themselves to be painted as the party of the rich. There are much more important issues out there like the economy, debt, etc.

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    • BillzillaComment by Billzilla
      July 20, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

      There as many rich Democrats, as Republicans out there. If you don’t believe it… look at Hollywood California, the Hamptons, and Manhattan in New York, to name just a few. Those places are crawling with rich, liberal/progressive Democrats!

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  6. patebooComment by pateboo
    July 20, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why they keep saying increase the taxes on the rich, when THEY ARE THE RICH. All these celebrities keep endorsing Obama who wants to increase their taxes, they throw him fundraisers and publicly encourage others to vote for him, and he wants to increase their taxes. Isn’t that just a little bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face? Oh that’s right, they know all the tax loopholes (Springsteen and Bon Jovi) and most of the time don’t live in THIS country, but OTHER countries where they have huge villas, like George Clooney, and Brad Pitt.

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  7. msheilmanComment by msheilman
    July 20, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why the @#$%^&*west side of WA keeps sending murray back; the east side certainly doesn’t like her! (ya, I live in east WA. We so want to totally divide the state into two…)

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  8. kcajComment by kcaj
    July 20, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    How are you going to convince Boehner and McConnell hold the line? Neither have shown any backbone and they keep getting snookered by the Libs.

    Boehner will cry then they will both cave in and compromise which means give acquiesce to the Dems demands. BTW, the Dems have never compromised on ANY of their demands

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  9. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    July 20, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    “If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus…”

    “Their fair Share”? What is their fair share? And who decides what’s fair? Patty Murray? His Imperial Highness Barry Barack the First? Will that fair share ever increase? Decrease?

    And no, financially I’m not one of the wealthy, my wife and I are raising a grandchild on a fixed income. But I am wealthy in that: I was born into this great Nation, I’ve been married to the same beautiful woman nearly 49 years, I’ve a great family, and God has blessed me! That’s my wealth!

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  10. cynicalobserverComment by cynicalobserver
    July 20, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    Frank Salvato wrote an unusual article that was very interesting

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