Friday, December 21, 2012

Dark matter in John Boehner's pool

John Boehner used some revealing language in his press conference today to defend the Plan B that his caucus refused to support yesterday. In Republicanspeak, Boehner is champion of the 99%:
Listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. Now, I disagree with that characterization of the bill. but that impression was out there. and we had a number of our members who just really didn't want to be perceived as having to raise taxes. That was the real issue. now, one of my colleagues the other night had an analogy of 100 people drowning in a pool, and then he was the lifeguard. and because he couldn't save any of them, does that mean he shouldn't have done anything? His point to them is, if I can go in there and save 99 people that are drowning, that's what I should do as a lifeguard. but the perception was out there, and a lot of our members did not want to have to deal with it.
It's no secret that in addition to cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans by leaving most of the goodies in the Bush tax cuts intact, Plan B would  raise taxes on most Americans, and raise them substantially for low-income Americans, by letting the Obama tax cuts enacted in 2009 expire. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities summarizes:
While showering these lavish and costly tax cuts on the richest Americans, the bill ends the improvements in tax credits for low-income working families, as well as a credit for low- and middle-income families with college costs, that the President and Congress first enacted in 2009 and that will expire at year-end under current law.  Some 25 million Americans would lose an average of about $1,000 a year as a result, and roughly eight million children would fall into — or deeper into — poverty.  A mother raising two children on full-time minimum-wage earnings of $14,500, for instance, would see her child tax credit cut from $1,725 to just $165.
Boehner's "pool" doesn't include those 25 million Americans -- or the much larger number of Americans whose taxes would go up by more modest amounts for loss of the child tax and college tuition credits. If Plan B did not raise the top tax rate, no one in his caucus would "perceive" it as raising taxes at all. GOP common parlance reveals that those whom Mitt Romney deemed the 47% -- conflating those who pay no income taxes with those imagined to be dependent on government largess -- don't exist for them.

In the Constitutional Convention, southern slaveholders insisted on a legal definition of slaves as three-fifths of a person. Today's GOP sees less than three fifths of the electorate.

1 comment:

  1. lol, the title of this is so misleading. Here I came across it thinking there was dark matter showing up in someone's pool! The universe would end! Ah well, I suppose I'm better for reading at least a little something about politics and legislation. /shrug