One of the more hysterical components of the fiscal cliff saga is watching the Democrats falling all over themselves to champion the importance of preserving the existing tax rates – the George W. Bush Tax Rates – for nearly every American taxpayer. The President last offer to Speaker Boehner would preserve the Bush Tax Rates for at least 99.5% of all taxpayers according to IRS data (all but individuals above $400,000 annual income).
To be clear, there's nothing funny about the fiscal mess that our nation is in. It's real. It's serious. And, if Washington fails to get its act together for the long-term, it will eventually prove fatal.
But, it is impossible not see the humor in watching Barack Obama and the Democrats now embracing the very policies they spent the last decade demonizing as the reason for deficits, unemployment, the downturn of the economy, male-pattern baldness, PMS, and the Cubs not winning the World Series. Regardless of the problem, it was always George Bush's fault.
Referring to the Bush Tax Cuts and economic policies during the Bush years, on October 16, 2012 during the second Presidential debate, Obama said, "That's what took us from surplus to deficits."
Less than a year ago, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "the Republican failed economic policies of President George Bush took us to a financial meltdown, took us into near depression, took us into deep deficits that we still have to deal with!"
But, now the Democrats are signing a very different tune; preserving that which they spent the last decade damning has suddenly become the President's and Democrat leadership's raison d'être.
The White House has dedicated a web site to pitching the extension of the Bush Tax Rates with the headline banner proclaiming, "IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO."
When asked on December 18 by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell if House Democrats would support the President's plan to extend the existing Bush Tax Rates to virtually every American, Pelosi answered with an emphatic, "I do." Later in the interview she again affirmed that "the Democrats will stick with the President."
So, which is it? Did they know what President Kennedy understood and proved to be true in the 1960s, but opposed and demonized the Bush Tax Cuts for purely political reasons? Have they seen the error of their ways, and become Supply-Side Converts? Or, was their opposition genuine liberal extreme Keynesian ideology and their new found conviction to "defend the middle class" less than genuine?
It doesn't really matter. Whatever the reason, the unprincipled, blow-in-the-wind, say-anything-to-get-elected nature of the Democrats is exceedingly transparent.
All this posturing is purely political. It has nothing to do with good government, or what really is best for the country. The objective is to maximize the ability to "blame the Republicans." The 2014 election cycle has already begun.