“Each side made stark arguments, with Democrats casting the issue as protecting the middle class, and Republicans countering that they were safeguarding small businesses and jobs.
“”The president wants to raise taxes on the so-called rich,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “Well, let me tell you who the so-called rich are. About a million of those people that you want to increase taxes on are small business owners.”
“”Their priority is cutting taxes of the very wealthy in this country,” countered Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. “They want to give households that earn more than $1 million a year a tax cut –- on average –- of $160,000 next year.”
“[…] Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) derided the policy as “supply-side voodoo,” echoing criticism first made by George H. W. Bush. Pascrell noted that since the George W. Bush cuts were passed in 2001 and 2003, the income gap in America has grown.
“”To those members concerned with tax fairness, today, wealth concentrated with the top 1 percent is at the same level as the period immediately preceding the Great Depression,” Pascrell said. “So you shrunk the middle class with your great economic ideas between 2001 and 2008, and what you did, what you did is made the rich richer. I salute you.”
“[…] “These are not mom-and-pop businesses,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), arguing that only 3 percent of businesses with fewer than 500 employees would face tax hikes. “Bain Capital. Bain Capital [is] the kind of small business that our Republican colleagues are trying to protect.”
“Democrats also argued that with the expiration of the 2009 cuts — the child tax credit, a bigger earned income tax credit and a break on college tuition — middle-class families would face on average a $1,000 tax hike.
“[…] The failure of Congress to agree on taxes on the remaining 2 percent of Americans guarantees that the argument will be carried through to the campaign trail over the summer, and will be a prime debating point in the fall when Congress returns from its summer break.