A year ago, President Barack Obama called Republicans “hostage takers” for staying true to their mandate and refusing to agree to tax hikes as part of the debt ceiling deal. Now, the Washington Post reports that Democrats are explicitly threatening to allow “nearly $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts”–otherwise known as “Taxmageddon“–in January unless Republicans agree to raise taxes on the highest earners. It’s the clearest sign of which party is, in fact, the most extreme–and the most willing to put party ahead of country.
“Taxmageddon” marks the expiration date of the Bush tax cuts, as well as the end of the payroll tax holiday. It is so dramatic that it risks plunging the economy definitively back into deep recession. Democrats, including the president, have campaigned against the Bush tax cuts for more than a decade, but have never had the political will–not even with full control of both houses of Congress and the White House–to repeal them. They settled for letting the tax cuts expire for “the rich” alone, but could not agree on the definition of “rich,” with President Obama targeting households earning more than $250,000, and Senate Democrats pushing for $1 million.
Now, with the presidential election looming, and President Obama insisting on his $250,000 definition, Senate Democrats have relented–though not to the extent of allowing an actual vote on the proposal. The proposal would not raise anywhere near enough money to cover the budget deficit in a single year. And though the president once warned against raising taxes on anyone during economic hard times, he is using his class warfare tactics to propel his lackluster campaign.
Last year, when Democrats began using terms like “hostage takers” and “terrorists” to describe the new Tea Party and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the media gave them a pass–despite the obvious violation of the new “civility” for which President Obama had called at the beginning of 2011. Today, it is absolutely clear who is holding the country hostage–and why.