July 11, 2012

Leading Newspapers Endorse Obama Tax Plan

Just two days after President Obama vowed to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%, three major national newspapers already have endorsed his plan. The editorial excerpts are below:

The New York Times stated:

The Need to Agree to Agree

New York Times, Editorial Board, 7/9/2012

Under [President Obama’s] plan, Americans who make more than $250,000 a year — the top 2 percent of taxpayers — would see their tax rates go back up next year to the levels from the Clinton years, while those making less than $250,000 — the remaining 98 percent — would have their tax cuts extended through 2013…Extending the tax cuts to those earning $1 million a year would cost the government $366 billion in lost revenue over 10 years, compared with extending the tax cuts only to those making less than $250,000 a year. That amount would have to be made up by cutting federal spending in critical areas like Medicare, Medicaid, education and food safety… [and] a recent Treasury analysis found that only 2.5 percent of small-business owners would face higher taxes from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Of those who would be affected, most are unlikely to reduce hiring or investment because of ample deductions for business expenses.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Tax cut season in Washington: Obama’s proposal to rescind Bush-era breaks for the wealthy is political but also the best option.

Los Angeles Times, Editorial Board, 7/11/2012

Obama’s announcement was a political gesture aimed at focusing the debate on the rates paid by the wealthy. But at a time when the federal government is practically drowning in red ink, that’s a debate worth having…Ideally, lawmakers would simplify the tax code by reducing the number of deductions and loopholes, enabling Washington to raise revenue without having to increase marginal rates…Obama’s proposal to temporarily extend some of the Bush tax cuts may not be the ideal policy, but it’s the best option on the table. Those cuts contributed to six years of only sporadic growth, as well as helping to transform the budget surpluses of the late 1990s into the deficits of the 2000s. So why do Republicans remain wedded to them?

And finally. from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Tax plan boosts middle class

Chicago Sun-Times, Editorial Board, 7/10/2012

Obama proposes temporarily extending the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 while letting the taxes of those who make more return to levels last seen during the Clinton administration.  That would keep more money in the pockets of middle-class Americans, whose spending provides a direct boost to the economy, while generating $850 billion in revenues over 10 years. That’s money desperately needed to fund a host of worthy programs, from student loans to the military, without adding to the federal deficit…Too many Republicans on Capitol Hill, we fear, are doing the bidding of their billionaire benefactors or are captive to Grover Norquist’s mindless no-tax pledge…the president’s plan would cover 98 percent of all households. More to the point, setting the cutoff so low sends the message that this is firmly a tax break for the struggling middle class — that ever-shrinking American core.

We applaud these newspapers for speaking out on this important issue before the expected Senate and House vote later this month on whether to extend the Bush tax cuts.