Extend the Obama Tax Cuts

Robert Waldmann

Majority Whip James E Clyburn proposed extending the Obama tax cuts. Some assert that he means the Bush tax cuts on income under $250,000. I sure hope he means that Obama tax cuts.

I have been arguing for some time that the Democrats should propose permenent extension of the Bush cuts on income under $250,000 (which implies tax cuts of around $6,000 next year for each rich family) and additional temporary tax cuts which equal for everyone (I like $500 per family). But now I think that it would be better politics to propose making Bush tax cuts on family income under $250,000 permanent and extending the Obama tax cuts one year (that is 400 per individual taxpayer or $800 per family for all but the richest few percent of working families).

Like the Bush tax cuts, the Obama tax cuts are scheduled to expire (the cuts apply to 2009 and 2010 income and were enacted as part of the stimulus bill).

A key advantage of such a debate for the Democrats is that it would force Republicans to admit and journalists to report that there are Obama tax cuts that might be extended. In the last poll only 8% of US adults knew that Obama and the Democrats have cut taxes for most US families.

I think the assumption that Clyburn must have been talking about the Bush tax cuts has something to do with the fact that even political junkies overlook the Obama tax cuts.

Finally, of course, temporary tax cuts for the non rich are a better stimulus than temporary tax cuts for the rich.

Now I wonder does House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn agree with me ? Did he mean what he said. His web page is no help.

The answer is (no surprise) on Talking Points Memo

“As the whip, I have been counting votes for President Barack Obama’s tax cut,” Clyburn said. “And I like the votes that are there for an extension of President Obama’s tax cuts. You may recall that all the American people–95 percent of the American people got a tax cut–in our legislation, that we call the recovery package. And what we’re trying to do is extend that.”

He quite definitely means the Obama tax cuts when he says “the Obama tax cuts.”