September 27th, 2010
01:08 PM ET

Election-year politics confound tax-cut extension plan

Tom Cohen

Washington (CNN) - Democrats and Republicans both say they want Bush-era tax cuts extended this year for most, if not all Americans. Then why has it been so hard to make it happen?

The answer is election-year politics, with each party battling for any advantage in a climate of voter anger about politics-as-usual in Washington.

At issue is who will get credit for what is considered the most likely outcome - the lower tax rates enacted in 2001 and 2003 getting extended permanently for Americans earning up to $250,000 per family or $200,000 as individuals.

Led by President Barack Obama, most Democrats favor that approach, which covers 98 percent of the taxpayers. They argue that including the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans would cost an additional $700 billion over 10 years that the nation cannot afford.

However, Republicans and some moderate Democrats argue the tax cuts should be extended to everyone to help continue the slow recovery from the economic recession. Otherwise, they say, the return of tax rates to higher levels of the 1990s would inhibit investment and growth.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Marlene

    I feel the same way as Donald Trump you start taxing the wealthy too much and they will leave the country and why are the wealthy taxed so much? Seems to me you are punishing them for working hard and doing well in life...
    When short of money politicians always say we have to tax the people more,I think it's miss management of money someone is not doing the job right.The problem is not only in the USA but also Canada.They always say we have to live within our means so what about them, obviously the politicians are not doing the JOB.AS far as Obama goes I haven't seen any change,during the election that's all he kept saying was CHANGE!!!! A politician is a politician and all they do is feather their own pockets!!!!

    September 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Michele Gomis

    Most of the time I like to add my 2 cents on the CNN blogs but this one begins to make me feel like we are all, politically speaking, on a dreary treadmill. We flop through the same (more or less) claptrap again and again and again and there seems to be no learning curve. Our political parties seem to be wallowing in a terminal impasse with little will to remedy the eternal turf wars and MOVE AHEAD...(and they wonder why voters are deeply resentful and ready for a wholesale "vote 'm out" event this fall).

    September 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  3. David Brooklyn NY

    Did I read this right Americans earn less than 250,000 in family units and in individuals earning 200,000 less. Will see a tax cut and the ones above these numbers. Will see regular tax for the coming years. Who is the people paying to not have their tax increased. When this is to be voted on?

    September 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm |