Last month, without a single Democratic vote, the United States Senate passed massive tax cuts. Democrats protested: while corporate tax cuts were made permanent, middle class cuts were only temporary. If Republicans really cared about regular people, these cuts would have been made permanent. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called their bluff. His offer to Democrats and their response is priceless.
Of course, what the Democrats failed to mention was that the archaic rules of the Senate did not allow for these tax cuts to be made permanent at that time. Had they passed tenth grade civics class, they would have known that.
And of course, if the Democrats really wanted to offer tax cuts to “average Americans,” as they now say, they could have done that in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016. For those 16 years, a Democrat sat in the White House. And for most of those 16 years, Democrats controlled Congress. But not one time – not once – did they offer a single bill to cut taxes for the “regular Americans” for whom they have such heartfelt affection now.
But let’s get back to Sen. Cruz.
On December 24, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Bernie Sanders told host Jake Tapper, “We should have made the tax breaks for the middle class permanent. [Again, these are the same tax breaks he never sponsored himself when he could have.] But what the Republicans did is make the tax breaks for corporations permanent and the tax cuts for the middle class temporary.”
Three days later, Cruz tweeted, “I agree with Bernie Sanders. Let’s make the middle class tax cuts permanent. Join me, Bernie, and we’ll co-sponsor legislation. I’ve already drafted legislation that does just that. Join me, Bernie, and we’ll get it passed in January!”
Last Monday, Cruz officially introduced legislation that would make the middle class tax cuts permanent. In a press release he invited Sanders and all Democrats to join him:
“These historic tax cuts are already benefiting our schoolteachers, firefighters, and truck drivers – people from all walks of life – by cutting rates for individual taxpayers in all brackets. By February, Americans in every tax bracket will see their taxes go down and their take-home pay go up. I invite Senator Sanders and all of my Democratic colleagues to join me today and make tax rate cuts for hard working middle class families permanent.”
Shockingly, neither Sen. Sanders nor any of his 48 Democratic colleagues have taken Cruz up on his offer.
Democrats like to say President Trump is inconsistent in his positions. They say negotiating with him is like nailing jello to the wall. Perhaps that’s true. But let’s consider the Democrats’ position on middle income tax cuts.
First, they never proposed middle class tax cuts when they could have.
Second, they opposed middle class tax cuts when Republicans proposed them.
Third, they agreed with the tax cuts but said they should have been made permanent.
Fourth, when asked to co-sponsor legislation to make the tax cuts permanent, all 49 Democratic senators declined.
Sen. Cruz was quite clever in reaching out to Sen. Sanders as he did. Of course, no one really expected Sanders to come alongside Cruz in sponsoring the permanent tax cuts he said we needed. That would have meant putting the needs of the American people ahead of partisan politics.
So let’s review. Democrats are opposed to legislation in January that would do what they said should have been done in December, which they opposed in November.
Only in Washington.