The Hill reports that Democrats in Washington may go after the “carried interest” tax loophole that gives preferential tax treatment to private equity executives. Some of them are even planning to push for a “Buffett rule” that anyone making seven figures a year pay at least 30 percent in taxes.
A recent CBS News/New York Times poll says 55 percent of Americans think the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes, and 52 percent think capital gains and investment income ought to be taxed at the same rate as wages. This is fruit ripe for plucking, one might say.
For years, the dominant argument on tax reform involved lowering marginal rates and closing loopholes. But the “loopholes” most likely to be targeted, Dems realized, are credits and deductions that benefit the middle class. (Oddly, after decades of alleged loophole cutting, GM still didn’t pay taxes last year. Funny how that works.)
The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of this year, so you know this is going to become a big campaign issue. For too long Republicans have gotten away with demagoguing the tax issue. But now recent events and public opinion favor Democrats. They’re coming to bat with the bases loaded, so to speak.
From the far reaches of the Crazy Land Fringe, Grover Norquist says that if the Bush tax cuts expire, President Obama could be impeached.
NORQUIST Weâ€™re focused on the fact that there is this Damocles sword hanging over peopleâ€™s head. What you donâ€™t know is who will be in charge when all of this will happen. I think when we get through this election cycle, weâ€™ll have a Republican majority, [though] not necessarily a strong majority in the Senate, and a majority in the House. The majority in the House will continue to be a Reagan majority, a conservative majority. Boehner never has to talk his delegation going further to the right.
If the Republicans have the House, Senate, and the presidency, Iâ€™m told that they could do an early budget voteâ€”a reconciliation vote where you extend the Bush tax cuts out for a decade or five years. You take all of those issues off the table, and then say, â€œWhat do you want to do for tax reform?â€
Then, the question is: â€œOK, what do we do about repatriation and all of the interesting stuff?â€ And, if you have a Republican president to go with a Republican House and Senate, then they pass the [Paul] Ryan plan [on Medicare].
NJ What if the Democrats still have control? Whatâ€™s your scenario then?
NORQUIST Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, heâ€™s gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. Heâ€™s made no effort to work with Congress.
Overlooking the technicality that the House impeaches, not the Senate — the time has come to round up all of Grover Norquist’s whackjob ideas and drown them in a bathtub. He wants to make 2012 about tax cuts? Bring it on.