So GOP politicians are afraid to "raise" taxes. Let's consider that a minute.
That Grover Norquist tax pledge has existed about 20 years, from some of the comments I've seen.
In 2001 and 2003, the GOP, with total control of Congress and the WH, passed two TEMPORARY tax cuts which, we were told, were never supposed to be permanent. The GOP promised the TEMPORARY tax cuts would expire in 2010. That was the understanding and the agreement.
BUT, at the end of 2010, just after those disastrous mid-term election results and just before the Tea Party spilled onto the floors of Congress, the GOP held a bunch of other things hostage just to keep those tax breaks a little longer. The hostages were: extended unemployment benefits for long-term unemployed, health care for the 911 first responders, the arms reduction treaty with Russia, and a couple of other things.
Once again, the extension of those TEMPORARY tax cuts was accomplished.
And now, here we are, two years later, almost to the day, with the GOP all bent out of shape because the President wants to re-instate the tax brackets for the wealthiest in this nation. We have a deficit problem. A large part of it was created with a revenue deficit.
In other words, he wants to restore the TEMPORARY TAX CUTS back to their original pre-2001 and 2003 levels on incomes exceeding $250,000 per year. All earned income under $250,000 is taxed at the TEMPORARYILY set rates from the Bush era.
Now here's the contradiction with Grover Norquist's tax pledge.
The GOP all pledged not to raise taxes. Ever. For any reason.
So how could they justify passing a TEMPORARY tax cut (reduction) knowing that it would result in taxes going back up (increasing) at the end of 10 years, as they have been claiming for the last two years? Either they issued all taxpayers a percentage off coupon on taxes, set to expire in 2010, the GOP lied about those tax cuts being temporary, or the GOP doesn't understand the concept of restoring a TEMPORARY revenue LOSS.
They created their own dilemma. This was never, in a million years, about Obama or the Democrats. The GOP totally owns the mess.
If they promised never to raise taxes, they could not, in keeping with that pledge, EVER have passed a TEMPORARY tax cut, knowing that one day it would revert back to the old levels while in so doing, claiming that the restoration of the reduced tax rates is, somehow, a tax increase.
All this yelling, screaming, threatening, posturing, hostage taking, filibustering, double speak, political spin diatribe is designed with two purposes in mind.
1) Cover up the lie they told us at the beginning which they have perpetuated throughout the last 11 years, and
2) Scapegoat President Obama over it to cover up their shell game.
Actually, it's not a tax increase at all. It couldn't be. It is the reinstatement, a restoration, of tax levels on earned income over the currently proposed $250,000 earnings per year EXEMPTED from tax rates existing before the TEMPORARY GOP tax cuts.
If the TEMPORARY Bush tax cuts expire, that is not a tax increase. It is a tax restoration. Always has been.
Here's the reality that the GOP is really hoping no one figures out:
In granting that all earned income under $250,000 will remain at the newer, LOWER Bush-era rates, the President would actually sign a bill that DOES LOWER TAXES FOR EVERYONE.