BIGGEST. TAX CUT. EVER. (REDUX)…. We talked a week ago about the tax-cut provisions of the economic stimulus package, and how it turns out that President Obama proposed and passed one of the largest tax cuts in American history — $282 billion over two years — without Republican support.
I’m glad to see some others are picking up on this. Yesterday, Marc Ambinder noted:
Don’t know if anybody has yet noticed in the Republican Party but President Obama was presented last week a major talking point for 2012.
He’ll sign today one of the largest tax cuts in history.
In spite of the White House pointing this out to journalists, it is funny how little remarked-upon this is.
It’s hard imagine we won’t hear about this four years from now. And if that’s not boxing a future Republican candidate in ahead of time, I don’t know what is.
Chris Hayes had a similar observation.
On the politics side of the ledger, Ben Smith notes Obama’s emphasis on the tax cuts in the bill. I’m not necessarily a fan, though politically it’s true that every single Republican member of congress can now be accused of “Voting against the biggest tax cut in history” come next election.” Clearly, this hasn’t escaped the White House’s notice.
It’s good to see this observation gaining some traction, but I’d just reiterate one angle to this that shouldn’t be overlooked: Obama’s tax-cut plan in the recovery package is not only arguably bigger than any previous plan, but it’s also better targeted. George W. Bush’s tax cuts were long-term income-tax rate cuts, which amounted to a generous break for those at the top, since the wealthy pay most income taxes. A.L. reminds us today, “The Bush tax cuts were skewed dramatically toward the wealthy. In 2004, 60% of the tax cuts went to the top 20 percent of income earners with over 25% going to the top 1% of income earners. Those numbers have increased since then as the cuts to the estate tax have taken effect.”
Obama’s tax cuts, meanwhile, are short-term refunds paid directly to working and middle class families (some of which Republicans have denounced as “welfare”).
As such, GOP lawmakers have rejected one of the largest, if not the largest, tax cut ever proposed by a president — which just so happens to be targeted at the working and middle class families Obama vowed to look out for.
Expect to hear this point again at some point in the future.