FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
They're known as the "Bush tax cuts"... but pretty soon they'll be a part of President Obama's legacy too.
That's because Mr. Obama wants the tax cuts - introduced in 2001 and 2003 - to be extended indefinitely for most Americans. They're set to expire at the end of this year though, which means lawmakers must act before then.
These tax cuts lowered income and investment tax rates, increased the child credit and reduced the real estate tax and inequalities for married taxpayers.
And then there's this: Despite the $12 trillion national debt, Pres. Obama isn't calling on Congress to pay for the cost of extending these tax cuts. We're talking about spending more than $2 trillion on his predecessor's tax policy.
But the president does want to raise taxes on the rich. He's proposing letting the tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000 - or individuals making more than $200,000.
Critics say that increasing taxes on the rich will hurt small businesses, job growth and the stock market. But Democrats say the plan is fair because middle class Americans are struggling more than the wealthy. So their solution is to take from the well-off and give to the not-as-well-off. You know, redistribute the wealth.
Meanwhile it's not clear when Congress will take up the issue. It might happen before their summer break so they can go home and brag to their constituents about what they've done ahead of the midterm elections.
But the hard truth is this: Extending those tax cuts without paying for them... perhaps by, say, cutting government spending, is just irresponsible.
Here’s my question to you: What should President Obama do about the Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
If he extends them, they become the "Obama tax cuts" and he loses any chance to attack them and politically he is known as a flip-flopper. If he lets them lapse, the economy suffers, but his base is happy and he is consistent with the campaign.
Politics trumps economics, and everyone loses. He won't renew them.
Let them expire ASAP! Deficits and tax cuts for the wealthy are mutually exclusive. Hey, where are all the jobs created by the Bush tax cuts? The only thing most of us gained from the Bush tax cuts is the Bush Recession!
Kent in New Jersey writes:
Obama needs to raise the top tax rate to 90% like we had during the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations. We have a $65 trillion national debt when you count the Medicare and Social Security IOUs. It is time for Obama to declare a fiscal emergency… What is happening in Greece is a joke compared to what is in store for America.
The tax breaks should not have been done in the first place. It was done by Bush to satisfy his neo-con cronies. I have to admit even though I am an Obama supporter, my opinion of him might be altered if he supports continuing them.
Janelle in Kansas writes:
Even if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, the people they affect will have much more discretionary income left over than most Americans. I think it will be fair to let the rest of us catch up a little.
Angie in California writes:
Here's an idea: Take the tax cuts away from companies who hire non-citizens and give it to companies who hire only U.S. citizens. Take the tax cuts away from companies who took jobs out of the U.S. and give those tax cuts to companies who bring jobs to the U.S. That ought to help a lot right there.
What's wrong, Jack? Afraid you may pay a little more in taxes?