One of the first actions the new Democratic congressional majority took was to change legislative rules, implemented by the 1994 Republican-controlled Congress, that made it difficult to raise taxes. I suppose the Democrats' apparent plan to increase taxes on "the rich" won't count as a broken campaign promise not to raise taxes since "the rich" aren't entitled to any rights, only to scorn, jealousy and resentment.
The Contract with America provision required a supermajority or 60 percent to increase taxes, but the Democrats' rule change will now permit a tax hike on a simple majority vote. It will also give the Democrats an advantage in preventing Republicans from extending the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire in a few years. Democrats removed any doubt that this was an accidental development when they rejected a motion by Minority Leader John Boehner to bar the rule change.
It would be one thing if Democrats were solely motivated here by fiscal concerns: balancing the budget, eliminating the deficit and reducing the national debt. But we know better than that because they understand that the president's tax cuts, like President Kennedy's and President Reagan's, increased federal revenues.
Moreover, they can't help but realize that President Bush's tax-cut-driven economic boom has now caused dramatic reductions in the deficits. But to admit such things would be to forfeit class warfare as a demagogic weapon, one of their best remaining tools to bludgeon heartless Republicans.
The very idea that upper income producers are undertaxed is ludicrous on its face. Democrats can't possibly believe that the rich don't pay their fair share of the revenues when the top one percent of income producers -- according to 2004 tax data cited by economist Larry Kudlow -- pays some 37 percent of federal income taxes and the lowest 40 percent pays virtually no taxes and is even subsidized.
But it's not the inequitable distribution of the tax burden that really bothers liberals. If so, they'd be carping at the lower-income earners for not paying their fair share.
What bugs them is the "inequitable" distribution of wealth. But if they were candid in confessing this, they would be hard-pressed to explain their supposed affinity for economic freedom.
Liberals insist they believe as strongly in the American dream as the rest of us, but routinely demonize those who succeed in attaining it. They loudly profess their allegiance to capitalism, but resent the inequitable monetary results it produces. Isn't that what John Edwards' two-America's theme is all about?