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E. J. Dionne: Plan B For Pelosi And Reid

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:28 AM
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E. J. Dionne: Plan B For Pelosi And Reid
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/12/congr...

Plan B For Pelosi And Reid
By E. J. Dionne


snip//

Democrats can't even get credit for doing the right thing. If Congress and Bush don't act, the alternative minimum tax -- originally designed to affect only Americans with very high incomes -- will raise taxes on about 20 million middle- and upper-middle-class people for whom it was never intended.

Democrats want to protect those taxpayers, but also keep their pay-as-you-go promise to offset new spending or tax cuts with tax increases or program cuts elsewhere. They would finance AMT relief with $50 billion in new taxes on the very wealthiest Americans or corporations. The Republicans say no, just pass the AMT fix.

Here's a guarantee: If the Democrats fail to pass AMT relief, they will be blamed for raising taxes on the middle class. If they pass it without the tax increase, deficit hawks will accuse them of selling out.

What's the alternative to the internecine Democratic finger-pointing of the sort that made the front page of Thursday's Washington Post? The party's congressional leaders need to do whatever they must to put this year behind them. Then they need to stop whining. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should put aside any ill feelings and use the Christmas break to come up with a joint program for 2008.

They could start with the best ideas from their presidential candidates in areas such as health care, education, cures for the ailing economy and poverty-reduction. Agree to bring the same bills to a vote in both houses. Try one more time to change the direction of Iraq policy. If Bush and the Republicans block their efforts, bring all these issues into the campaign. Let the voters break the gridlock.

If Democrats don't make the 2008 election about the Do-Nothing Republicans, the GOP has its own ideas about whom to hold responsible for Washington's paralysis. And if House and Senate Democrats waste their time attacking each other, they will deserve any blame they get next fall.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think they should stick to their guns on this one.
They should pass legislation to fix the AMT and make up the difference with a tax increase on the wealthy. If Junior vetoes the legislation most people will just remember the Democrats sent in a fix and The Decider torpedoed it.

And if you ever wanted an example to hold up, to show that Republicans give their billionaire pals a pass while sticking it to the middle class, that would be it.

Or I guess you could just fix the AMT and say the tax cut would pay for its self by triggering prosperity for one and all, but I think that theory has been pretty thoroughly discredited by now.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. GOP's back door tax increase on the middle class
Dems need to find a way to pass AMT relief as the first phase and include a promise to fix the other problem later.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
3. Wall Street Journal and Fox News are carring stories
about the Fractured Democratic Party cannot get anything done.

It appears the GOP is already making this about the Failing Democratic
Party.

This is the GOP Strategy. Obstruct the Democrats, then label them
the DO NOTHING Failures.

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. And unless the Dems start pointing out what the GOP is doing,
they just might get away with it. They need to take off the kid gloves and go for the jugular - imo, of course. :)
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