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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

While the Democrats entertained Stephen Colbert

While the Democrats had time for Stephen Colbert last week, they sure didn't have time to address the changes in income rates that are fated to take place next year unless something is done about it. They're leaving town to campaign and try to convince voters to send them back to Washington. Well, before you consider voting D this Fall, remember the unfinished business they left behind. And it goes way beyond settling up the appropriations bills to fund the federal government.

Stephen Moore summarizes the taxes
that will go up automatically unless there is action to prevent it.
Taxes won't be going up just on Bill Gates and Taylor Swift but everyone who pays taxes. Next year's tax rates on capital gains, dividends and small business earnings? Nobody knows. And Democrats wonder why companies aren't hiring.

Making the tax wallop even worse, Democrats haven't defused the Alternative Minimum Tax time-bomb either. According to Ken Kies, who once served as staff director of Congress's joint tax committee, as many as 30 million middle-class Americans could get hit with the AMT next year. "The Democrats are going to have fix this during the lame-duck session [in November], or this tax will hit a lot of Americans in January."

The Tax Foundation has run the numbers and the tax hikes coming down the road are eye-popping. Take a school teacher married to a bus driver, with a combined income $120,000 and two kids. Only Nancy Pelosi would consider them "rich," but their income taxes will go up $4,499 next year, even before any potential AMT penalty, which could add several thousand dollars to their tax bill.

A family of four with an income of $45,000 would pay $2,083 more in taxes. Ouch. And that hard-working single mom, who Mr. Obama talks all the time? If she makes $40,000 a year, she will pay the IRS $1,607 a year more.

Republicans are set to make the tax hit a big campaign issue in the next five weeks. Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip, tells me: "Democrats have always wanted to raise these tax rates on everyone -- not just the rich. I'm not surprised how this turned out."

Welcome to the Obama-Pelosi era of "shared sacrifice."
Instead of letting people vote based on a knowledge of what the Democrats truly intend to do with all these tax increases, they're hoping people will vote based on faith. Then they come back in the lame duck session and do what they'd really like to do with taxes and hope that people won't remember in 2012. Some message to take to voters, isn't it? Vote for us and we may or may not raise your taxes. But hey, wasn't it cute when Colbert testified?

UPDATE: And here is something else that the Democrats have failed to do. Zoe Lofgren, the mental giant who invited Colbert in to testify, is also the chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee. And she's failed to hold the ethics hearings for Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel before the elections. She's just fine with letting the people vote on these two scofflaws while ethics charges hang over their heads. I guess that is just not as important to the American people as having Colbert testify in his fake character before her committee.

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