EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 30, 2012

Column: Happy New Year? Good luck with that


So, “compromise” means Republicans agreeing to tax increases on the wealthy (and semi-wealthy) now, and Obama saying he will “consider” spending controls later.

I think Republicans ought to say: Forget it, let’s step off the fiscal curb. Why not?

A couple of months after Obama is safely reelected and we have been spared the alleged depredations of a Romney administration, economists of all persuasions suddenly are saying what a few of us have said all along – that there are not nearly enough millionaires and billionaires (even those who make only one-fifth of a million a year) to nibble away at our catastrophic debt and deficits by taxing them more heavily.

If we are ever going to address that problem, the bulk of the money is going to have to come from the middle class, because that is where the bulk of the money is. So, why not let them start helping out starting Tuesday?

It is a mystery to me why Obama, Democrats in Congress – indeed any liberal anywhere – could object to the expiration of the “Bush tax cuts” for everybody, not just the rich. All that means is tax rates will go back to where they were for everybody under President Clinton. And you know, liberals can’t stop talking about how awesomely wonderful the economy was under the Clinton tax rates.

So, bring back the ’90s rates and those halcyon days will come roaring back, right?

Uh, well, now that the moment is upon us, it seems Democrats don’t believe it enough to let it happen without trying to blame Republicans for what they say will be disaster.

It seems they may finally be acknowledging that it was the Internet bubble, not higher tax rates, that had just about everything to do with the roaring economy. The reality is you or I could have been president, and the economy would have been great and we would have looked like geniuses.

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