4 Dec 2010 12:41
The major news organizations still can’t describe the tax cut proposals correctly.
Fact: The Democratic proposals that Senate Republicans killed today would have extended Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers (often called everyone, though poor people aren’t included).
Under the now-dead proposals, the tax cut extension would have been capped at $250,000 or $1,000,000 of income, but all taxpaying households would see lower taxes. The Bush tax cuts, which are about to expire, have no cap.
High-income taxpayers (often called rich people) would have received the biggest tax cut under these Democratic proposals. Republicans rejected the proposals because it’s not enough for them that the richest people receive the biggest tax cuts. The Republicans want the richest people to receive even bigger biggest tax cuts.
The Republicans also opposed the proposals because they were Democratic proposals. Also because they were proposals, and the Party of No opposes everything.
All this despite public sentiment that the Bush tax cuts should continue only for households earning less than $250,000, an idea no one is proposing.
As far as I can tell, no one has sought public opinion on the actual current proposals. I can’t understand or explain why CBS and other polling organizations continue to ask people about proposals that aren’t and have never been under consideration.
Here’s a sampling of today’s descriptions of the tax cut proposals, all of which are wrong, or at best misleading. The news outlets might as well say that the Democrats proposed extending the Bush tax cuts for White families.
CNN “The votes sought to extend the Bush tax cuts for families making under $250,000 and $1 million, respectively.”
Wall Street Journal “The Senate voted 53-36 to reject an attempt to initiate debate in the chamber on a measure that would have extended lower tax rates for individuals who earn less than $200,000 and couples earning less than $250,000.”
New York Times “The Senate on Saturday rejected President Obama’s proposal to extend the Bush-era tax breaks for all but the wealthiest taxpayers, sealing a triumph for Republicans who have long called for continuing the income tax cuts for everyone.”
Associated Press “Senate Republicans have blocked legislation allowing taxes to rise on Jan. 1 on people earning more than $1 million.”
Bloomberg “The U.S. Senate failed to advance a Democratic proposal to extend Bush-era income-tax cuts for families earning up to $250,000.”