On Wednesday night’s edition of The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell, brilliantly, suggested a Democratic strategy for winning the war on taxes, in terms of getting rates raised on the top two percent of wealthy Americans.
He simply urged Democrats to let all of the Bush tax cuts expire on January 1 (go “over the cliff”) and then immediately introduce a bill to cut taxes only for those making $250,000 or less, leaving the Clinton-era rates in place for the wealthy. He argued that given the Republican Party’s undying loyalty to Grover Norquist and his tax pledge, they would have no choice but to support the Democratic proposal. How could they defend not voting for a tax cut for 98% of Americans?
O’Donnell reminded viewers that they would have to tolerate a short period in January where their taxes would go up, but after the legislation passed they would get a retroactive refund of those increased taxes.
Now, as I say, this appears to me to be a brilliant strategy and one that has potential. My only concern is that those Bush tax cuts for everyone under $250,000 should not become permanent, but should be modified in the future, after the economy has sufficiently recovered, so as to help get and keep our fiscal house in order.
Other than that, it may be a strategy that works, although as O’Donnell suggested, Democrats may not have the, uh, huevos to pull it off. We shall see, but it remains an interesting concept.