Supercommittee Lapse Makes Bush Tax Cuts Issue

Monday, 21 Nov 2011 11:52 AM

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The supercommittee’s impending failure has thrust the Bush tax cuts into the presidential campaign. The cuts will expire at the end of next year, and both parties are looking to exploit the issue, The Washington Post reported.

The tax cuts were enacted during President George W. Bush’s first term and have been political fodder ever since. Obama extended the tax breaks at the end of their original expiration date in 2010 but now vows to veto efforts to extend the breaks for the wealthiest of Americans, the Post reported.

It had been hoped that the issue would be settled with the supercomittee, which was charged with cutting $1.2 trillion from the deficit. However, the group has reached an impasse, mostly over taxes. Now, Democrats view the issue as an opportunity to portray Republicans as defenders of the rich and Republicans see it as a way to portray Democrats as in favor of taxes, the Post reported.

“The wealthiest of Americans, those who earn over a million dollars every year, have to share, too,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., co-chairwoman of the supercommittee. “And that line in the sand we haven’t seen any Republicans willing to cross yet.”

However, supercommittee member Sen. Jon Kyle, R-Ariz., said, “You can’t grow if you raise taxes in the middle of a recession.”

Both sides can point to polls to support their positions. A Washington Post-ABC News poll show that 75 percent supported tax hikes on millionaires and another poll found that more than two-thirds favored tax hikes on households earning $250,000. However, a Post-ABC poll last year found that 54 percent supported extending all the Bush tax cuts, the Post reported.


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