Susan Estrich, a liberal commentator, is proud of the fact that she supported Obama's re-election, but she hopes that Obama won't take that re-election as a sign that he should, you know, support the tax policy which he campaigned on so hard when running:
Within days of winning the election, President Obama announced that his victory gave him a mandate to raise taxes on the "rich."It may be that 51% of Americans are not to Estrich's left on tax policy (though if so, it's no thanks to her) but what she seems blissfully unaware of is that although most of her acquaintance may fall in the $250k+ income range, this is a very, very rarified income strata for most Americans. High incomes have taken a hit during the recession, so the recent figures jump around a bit, but to be hit by Obama's proposed tax increase on those making $250k/yr or more, Ms. Estrich is certainly within the top 5% of households and may be within the top 1.5% of households. (Wikipedia claims 1.5%. This fun little tool at the NY Times suggests 3%.)
Come again? This was a two-and-a-half-point election. It reflected a painfully divided electorate. The only mandate I saw was to unite a divided country.
I did not vote for Obama because I think I am paying too little in taxes.
Like many people I know, I am "rich" by Obama's standards. I pay more taxes, percentage wise, than Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett, because I earn virtually every penny of my income.
I work. And yes, all those deductions that allow the truly rich to not work, or at least to not work all the jobs I do, make me angry.
I am all for closing loopholes. I am all for ending deductions for things I don't even understand. But I am not for putting a low cap on deductions that would make it all but impossible for the charities I support to raise funds. I am not for putting a limit on the mortgage deduction that would mean, as a practical matter, that "middle class" (not rich) people in California would be priced out of the housing market, and the charities I support would not be able to raise what they need to survive.
And frankly, I don't think I'm alone. As a matter of fact, on this one, I don't think 51 percent of all Americans are to my "left" — if that's how you define the higher tax constituency.
House Republicans are in a pretty weak position trying to negotiate with Obama and the Senate in order to avoid going over the Fiscal Cliff. I'd been starting to wonder if it was necessary for Republicans to cave to Obama's desire to let the "Bush tax cuts" expire on those making over $250k in order to avoid even worse concessions. I continue to think that might not be the best thing for the economy, but after reading Estrich's column I will at least feel a certain satisfaction if rates do go up.