Sometimes it is really amazing how quickly politicians flip-flop. Anybody who hasn’t been on Mars or one of the outer planets during the past few weeks knows how the Congressional Democrats have been playing class warfare, setting up successful people as being selfish and not wanting to pay their “fair share” of Taxes.
But back in 2009 it was a very different story. During the Obamacare debate Nancy Pelosi was trying to legislate that Obamacare would be partially funded via a surtax on the “rich” ($250,000+ income). Democrats in both houses fought that suggestion “tooth and nail,” and Pelosi’s attempt was defeated.
“Still, the idea has been criticized by some Democrats. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Tuesday that he has ‘not heard much support’ from his colleagues.” (“House Dems’ Health Bill Would Tax Rich,” USA Today, 7/15/09)
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told the Washington Post:
‘Tax is a four-letter word’ with voters, even families not ranking in the top 1 percent of earners ‘hope they’re going to be there someday,’ he said. ‘So they don’t necessarily think it’s fair.’” (“Health-Care Plan Would Add Surtax On Wealthy,” The Washington Post,7/15/09)
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He told Bloomberg something similar, that “he’s ‘not hearing a lot’ of support for a surtax on wealthy Americans. People in his state don’t like the so-called millionaire’s tax ‘because they are looking someday to get there themselves,’ Nelson said. ‘It’s the American way.’” (“House Health Plan Seeks 5.4 Percent Millionaire Tax,” Bloomberg, 7/14/09)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), was fighting against the Millionaire’s Tax, instead he advocated the Cadillac Tax, a tax on the most generous 1 percent of private plans. Conrad told the Washington Post that the Millionaires tax is ‘a very tough sell.’” (“Health-Care Plan Would Add Surtax On Wealthy,” The Washington Post, 7/15/09)
Perhaps the most surprising repudiation of the Millionaire’s Tax was a letter sent by Congressman Polis, Former Congressman Tickle-me-Massa and twenty other Representatives sent to Strong-Armed (and fake big-lipped) Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Embedded below, the letter made some of the same anti-tax points that the Democrats are ridiculing today because they are coming from conservatives and Republicans.
“Especially in a recession, we need to make sure not to kill the goose that will lay the golden eggs of our recovery. By concentrating the cost of health care reform in one area, and in one that will negatively affect small businesses, we are concerned that this will discourage entrepreneurial activity and job growth.”
“This proposed surcharge will also have a direct negative impact on manufacturers, another industry essential for our recovery. As manufacturers are capital intensive businesses, their taxable income is often higher… Manufacturing machinery can cost over $1 million and many owners have to save for years to expand and buy new equipment. Yet those profits saved each year would be hit by this proposed surcharge, which could lead to reduced investment.”
And my personal favorite:
“… a surcharge would tax income above $1 million at a new rate of 45 percent. Combined with state taxes, many successful small businesses — the very kind of business that should lead in creating new jobs and help us emerge from this recession — will be taxed at over 50 percent.”
Only two years ago, Congressional Democrats made a pretty compelling argument that a Millionaire’s Tax would be a lousy idea and the proposal was pulled from Obamacare. Two years later many Democrats still think that the tax is wrong. Heck that’s why Harry Reid did not allow Obama’s plan to be voted on yesterday, it didn’t have the votes.
Despite his party’s objections in 2009 and today, the President continues to place the blame at the feet of conservative Republicans, proving that the only reason for his Class Warfare charge is to demonize his political opposition and divide the country to help him in his fight for re-election.