If Senator Jon Kyl's accusation that Obama talks too "incessantly" about the middle class wasn't enough of an indication, Republicans aren't very concerned with the middle class lately. And in their latest tax plan, it really shows.
It came as no surprise that when President Obama proposed a package that would give tax cuts to all Americans - including the top 2 percent - Republicans pushed for an extra tax cut for the top 2 percent, on top of the one they're already getting.
Now it seems that a double tax cut for the wealthy wasn't the worst of it - in order to pay for the tax breaks, the Republicans actually want to raise taxes on the middle-class.
From Think Progress:
TAX CUTS REPUBLICANS ARE HOLDING HOSTAGE:
- Tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans. (The wealthiest two percent would also still get a tax cut on their first $250,000 of income.)
TAX CUTS REPUBLICANS ARE INSISTING ON:
- An extra tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, including millionaires and billionaires.
TAX INCREASES REPUBLICANS WANT:
- Limiting eligibility for the child tax credit, which constitutes a tax increase on 12 MILLION families. This works out to an average tax increase of $800 per family. In the case of a family made up of one person earning minimum wage and two children, the tax increase would be much larger according to one estimate: $1545.
- Curtailing tax credits for higher education expenses from $2500 a year to $1800 and reducing the years of eligibility from four years to two. This translates into an average tax increase of $1100 for 11 MILLION families.
- Cutting back on the earned income tax credit for families with three or more children and worsening the so-called "marriage penalty" on working poor couples, which translates into an average tax increase of $500 for 6 MILLION families.
All told, these Republican tax increases would hit more than 25 million poor, working, and middle class families.
The Republican commitment to tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the working and middle class is nothing new. Tax breaks the wealthiest two percent of Americans has been a cornerstone of Republican economics over the past decade. But proposals like these bring to light what exactly they're willing trade for it - and that they're willing to hit the people who need it most.
The Senate is voting on the tax cuts today, and we'll update after the vote with a Texas roll call.