Support for Tax Increase on Highest Earners

A new Pew Poll shows that 44% believe that raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 would help the economy, compared to 22% who believe it would hurt, with  24% saying it wouldn’t make a difference, and 11% saying they don’t know.

As you’d expect, Democrats more strongly favored the tax increase, with 64% saying it would help, only 11% saying it would hurt, 15% saying it wouldn’t make a difference, and 9% saying they don’t know.

Only 27% of Republicans say the tax increase would help, 41% say it would hurt, 24% say it wouldn’t make a difference, and 9% say they don’t know.

Independents fall in between, with 41% saying it would help, 18% saying it would hurt, 30% saying it wouldn’t make a difference, and 10% saying they don’t know.



Quote of the Day

“The Republicans and Democrats the modern system produces literally come from different worlds and see no middle ground on the biggest issues of the day. They see elections — not the legislative process — as the place to settle their differences. ”  Charles Mahtesian and Jim VanderHei, “Congress:  It’s going to get worse,” Politico

Cooler Heads Starting to Prevail on Hilary Rosen

From Linda Hirshman, “Hilary Rosen was right,” WaPo:

“Beltway pundit Hilary Rosen committed a mortal sin of American politics.  She spoke the truth with a microphone on.

“In the furor, everyone seemed to forget that unpaid mothers and household work are not what the discussion is about.  Republicans are not talking about how jobs for stay-at-home moms have decreased under Obama.

“They are talking about how paid work for women has suffered.

“Although Ann Romney may be a fine spokesperson on some issues, the dirty little secret of angling for female votes is that while all women’s work, inside or outside the home, has the same worth, as Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush sweetly expressed, all women do not have the same interests.  Women who work in the home do not have the same interest in the recovery of the formal job market as women who have to work for pay.  Indeed, wage-earning women probably have more in common with their paycheck-dependent male co-workers on the subject of economic recovery than with household laborers such as Ann Romney.”

Ann Romney may have skipped a meal so she could fit into an evening dress, but she’s never skipped a meal so her children could eat instead.  Mitt’s relying on Ann about women’s economic issues just keeps him inside the closed loop of their charmed life together.  He doesn’t have a clue, and neither does she.

They both are picture perfect for the bubble of La Jolla.  The White House, not so much.

Can We Stop with the Greece Comparisons?

Ohio’s wildly unpopular governor, John Kasich, kept on pushing the Big Lie on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” that the U. S. is heading toward a crisis like Greece’s, riots and all.  This is just garbage, but it unnecessarily frightens people, especially seniors who worry about their Social Security and Medicare:

“We don’t want to be Greece.  We don’t want to be places where people are rioting because we waited so long to get things fixed, we’re pulling the rug from under them.”

This is beyond irresponsible, it’s inflammatory and cruel.

Out-for-Himself Eric Cantor Really Steps in It

Eric “Lean and Hungry” Cantor, the House Majority Leader, is right where I like to see him — “in damage control mode,” according to Politico.*

Cantor’s EricPAC gave $25,000 to a super PAC, the Campaign for Primary Accountability (CPA), that is devoted to kicking out incumbents, including many of the Republican congressmen whom Cantor is supposed to serve as Majority Leader.  This is a huge stab in the back to those who have put him in a leadership position.

One of the major funders of CPA, Leo Linbeck, told CNN that Cantor’s behavior was “forward-thinking.”  I guess forward-thinking is a new synonym for suicidal.

“House GOP Leadership aides…said they were perplexed by Cantor’s decision to donate to a group that was openly trying to take down sitting incumbents of his party.

“‘It’s just a mess,’ said one leadership aide.

“‘People are a little bit stunned,’ said a senior House GOP aide.”

I imagine John Boehner is delighted.  I think he hates Cantor, who is always breathing down his neck trying to replace him as Speaker, more than he hates President Obama.  Obama isn’t vying to become Speaker.  If Boehner smooths things over for Cantor, then Cantor will owe him big-time, and Boehner will have him right where he wants him, in his back pocket.

* “Cantor donation roils House GOP,” Alex Isenstadt and John Bresnahan

The Public and Private Faces of the Ryan Budget

From “Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan:  At Least It’s a Start,”  James R. Stewart, NYT:

“The Ryan plan is clearly an opening move. … It’s easy to tweak the Ryan tax rates to generate more tax revenue while still lowering rates and broadening the tax base….

“In return, Republicans would get lower rates and curbs on entitlement spending.  Democrats would get more tax revenue and preserve the essential elements and long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security.  The nation would get a fairer tax code, long-term deficit reduction, a secure credit rating, stronger economic growth and a social safety net.

“‘The overwhelming majority of Congress would agree to this on a secret ballot,’ [Jim] Cooper [D-TN] told me.  ‘But they wont do it publicly.  Each side considers it unilateral disarmament.  The Democrats want to bash the Republicans on Medicare and the Republicans want to bash the Democrats on taxes.'”  Emphasis added.

The Poisonous Atmosphere Is Poisoning Our Future

The GOP keeps saying, wrongly, that this country is going the way of Greece.  Unfortunately, there are no good solutions for Greece, just pain and decline and a vicious circle of economic contraction as far as the eye can see.  By contrast, we have solutions easily available, we just aren’t putting them in place.

From the question-and-answer part of President Obama’s speech to the Associated Press yesterday:

“These are solvable problems if people of good faith came together and were willing to compromise.  The challenge we have right now is that we have on one side, a party that will brook no compromise.  And this is not just my assertion.  We had presidential candidates who stood on a stage and were asked, ‘Would you accept a budget package, a deficit reduction plan, that involved $10 of cuts for every dollar in revenue increases?’  Ten-to-one ratio of spending cuts to revenue.  Not one of them raised their hand.

“I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.  This is not one of those situations where there’s an equivalence.  I’ve got some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress who were prepared to make significant changes to entitlements that go against their political interests, and who said they were willing to do it.  And we couldn’t get a Republican to stand up and say, we’ll raise some revenue, or even to suggest that we won’t give more tax cuts to people who don’t need them.”

The GOP, especially its Tea Party wing, will hold its breath until it turns blue.  Unfortunately, all of us are getting asphyxiated.