Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks that our tax system is too damned progressive and that poor people just aren’t pulling their weight. No. Really.
(CBS News) The United States tax code favors lower income Americans too much already and should be restructured to make it fairer to upper income earners, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said.
In an interview that aired on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican said he is ready to sit down with “this president or the next president” and have an animated discussion about the tax code to “reach a conclusion” that would bring down the ballooning U.S. deficit.
“Almost 70 percent of the federal revenue is provided by the top 10 percent of taxpayers now. Between 45 percent and 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all. We have an extraordinarily progressive tax code already. It is a mess and needs to be revisited again,” McConnell said in the interview, taped Monday.
McConnell’s in league with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on that one. He’s also argued that the poor just get off too damned easy in this country, and have to suffer more by taking on the tax burden that Republicans’ cuts for the wealthy will create. And of course they’re basing their pronouncement on the big lie that poor people don’t pay taxes. They pay a larger share of their income in taxes than rich people do. And they are students, and disabled people, and the elderly who don’t have income to pay taxes on. Not that facts, with their well known liberal bias, will get in the way of Republican talking points.
Nor, apparently, will public opinion. Because yet another poll shows just how unpopular the idea of tax breaks for the wealthy is.
A new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that only 26 percent of the public wants to see all of the tax breaks created during the George W. Bush administration, which are set to expire at year’s end, extended for at least another year. And only 18 percent want the tax breaks across all income levels made permanent, the position taken by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. [...]
In the poll, 47 percent of respondents said they wanted to see the tax breaks extended only for those earning less than $ 250,000. Eighteen percent said they prefer that all the tax breaks simply expire, which would result in higher taxes across the income spectrum.
That’s just how beholden to Grover Norquist and the wealthy McConnell, Cantor, and Romney are. This isn’t a new poll finding; for two years we’ve seen majorities like this endorsing higher taxes on high earners. But the only opinion poll on taxes that matters to Republicans is the opinion of one: Norquist. So expect a lot more noise for the next five months about making the poor carry their weight.