There is talk that Obama and the Democrats may be considering an “October surprise,” concerning the continuation of the Bush tax cuts. This raises a few issues, to put it gently.
First, these are the Bush tax cuts. They have been described as such for too many years for the appellation to be easily changed, and whenever a Democrat used the term it was always with “Bush” used as a pejorative, dripping with contempt. We were told these tax cuts — as with any — only benefit “the wealthy,” and that it was high time “the wealthy” pay their “fair share.” Ignoring for the purposes of this essay the reality of who actually pays taxes in this country, as well as the Democrats’ laughable definition of “fair share,” how will Obama explain why now — with unemployment at least twice what it was under Bush and the deficit at a historic, unsustainable level, why now is the time to reverse everything he has ever claimed to believe, and even appear to consider the possibility that taking money out of a damaged economy might not be the course best designed to lend it strength? It would be like a doctor who has prescribed leeches for years suddenly realizing transfusions might prove some efficacy. They have effectively painted themselves into an ideological corner.
That said, I doubt the matter will rise any higher on the radar, much less ever come to fruition, for two main reasons. First, there is all of the above, from any number of different angles. Obama would have to essentially embrace an idea promulgated by his personal straw man. A man to whom he has looked and still looks to pass blame for anything and everything his supposedly nimble brain cannot concoct a way to squirm from beneath. But most of all, there is the simple, horrifying fact of who these people really are. The Obama Administration and this Congress have done more raw, fundamental damage to this country than any other elected officials in the nation’s history, because they on some level thought it best. Allowing tax rates to remain the same when they could be higher is contrary to everything a Liberal/Progressive politician believes. The Conservative equivalent would be akin to coming out in favor of nationalizing the oil industry — lowering taxes stands in direct, root-level opposition to every core belief a Liberal/Progressive holds. (I would say “principles,” but principles are based upon established fact, and not what would be nice if only the mean people would get out of the way.)
The matter may well not be broached on any serious level, because it can only raise the fundamental political question of our time, and it is not one for which the Democrats can have hope for benefit. We are forced to ask if this group of elected politicians are stunningly ignorant of the fundamentals of economics — as simple as removing money from an economy being to its detriment — or are they in fact doing as much damage as they can, with full malice aforethought? The reality, as is usually the case in a complex system, is likely a mixture of both. Those truly in power, have malevolent intent. Those at lower levels attached to their strings and dancing to their tune, have been taught something quite akin to Faith, supplemented by something no different from Hate. They will in combination quietly do as much damage as they can between now and November, then with nothing more to lose, run amok between November and January. We can only hope the electorate is paying close attention, and remembers their true face once it is revealed.