Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN


November 20, 2012

GOP should take up Obama on his tax 'word'


The president has to know that, despite his "great victory," he has not quite reached dictator status. Republicans still hold a majority in the House, and Democrats still lack a super-majority in the Senate. He has to know that if he continues with the arrogant swagger he has displayed since the election, his window to get anything done before he becomes a lame duck will close rapidly.

So, if he expects Republicans to give - and Speaker of the House John Boehner has indicated that his party is willing to do so - he needs to give as well. He needs to give something significant, not some trifle that doesn't matter and then try to spin it otherwise.

If he doesn't, he should not complain about "obstruction." As I noted last week, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, said to be under consideration as the next secretary of defense, said while campaigning for Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren that if Romney won the presidency, she would be needed to "block" his agenda. You know, actively try to cause him to fail - exactly what Democrats self-righteously condemned anytime it was aimed at Obama.

So, I'm here to bring both sides together - to offer a compromise rooted in one of Obama's favorite campaign lines. The president and his surrogates have been going on for years now about ending "tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires."

Republicans should take him at his word. They should agree to let the tax rates set under President George W. Bush expire for people who actually make more than $1 million.

The compromise for Obama, of course, will be to own up to the fact that he has never meant that. Every time he would talk about millionaires, in the next breath he would promise that your family's taxes won't go up if you make less than $250,000 ($200,000 for individuals). That, as the president surely knows, is not a million. People would have to make four or five times that much to be millionaires.

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