Wait? You mean we just can’t keep cutting taxes and increasing spending?
That’s the word from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Hoyer indicated on yesterday that tax cuts for the middle class which are set to expire at the end of the year might only be extended for one year. Making them permanent would cost too much, according to Hoyer. This, of course, begs the question: why extend them at all if it’s only for a year?
Oh that’s right: it’s an election year.
You get how this works, right? Bush enacts tax cuts that the Republicans choose not to make permanent and then the Republicans pound on the Democrats for not “cutting” taxes. The Democrats, facing a tough election year, decide not to make cuts at the top but consider cuts at the middle which they will also not make permanent but can use them to run election ads proving that they “cut” taxes. Brilliant, huh?
Hoyer, like his colleagues won’t admit that this is what’s happening. Hoyer told reporters, “I don’t think this is the time to increase taxes.” However, he went onto say, “Raising revenue is part of the deficit solution, too.”
I see. Cut taxes now, raise them later. Got it.
Of course, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was all over Hoyer’s comments, proclaiming, “It’s now official. Top Democrats on Capitol Hill are starting to signal their intention to raise taxes on the middle class.” McConnell’s not wrong here. But he’s also part of the problem if he believes that allowing tax cuts to stand during periods of historically low revenues and increased spending will get us out of this hole that we’re in. It’s the classic conundrum in today’s political landscape: how can we cut taxes to make voters happy and increase spending at the same time? (Spoiler alert: you can’t.)
Changes are coming. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and how much. Stay tuned.