Ever wish you could chat with the president? Here's how a conversation might go....
Glad to see you again. How about a beer from the first post-racialist president?
Mr. President, today could we talk not about race or health care, but about taxes?
Sure. They're one of my strongest areas. And I've been very clear. I told the Democratic Convention a year ago that "in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class."
In September, I told a huge crowd in Dover, New Hampshire: "Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes - not any of your taxes. You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."
But nearly all the taxes you cited in Dover are scheduled to go up - for everybody - beginning in 2011, when the 2003 Bush tax cuts are set to expire.
Those were adopted by Congress as temporary tax cuts, unless Congress voted to extend or make them permanent. It's difficult to argue the higher taxes that will be restored in 2011 will be tax increases recommended or approved by me.
Sir, you certainly were not known during your four years in the Senate for urging the Bush tax cuts' extension or permanence.
I was known best for talking about the need to move beyond racialism and partisanship. I campaigned as an advocate of post-partisan politics.
And not raising taxes -
On the middle class.
Yet your Democratic Congress already has raised cigarette taxes, which fall most heavily on the middle class -
To fund ObamaCare for the young.
Ditto the Democratic proposal for new taxes - including new taxes paid by employees - on companies that don't provide health insurance.
Of course - to help fund ObamaCare generally. We need ObamaCare.
So are you going to fund it and your many other initiatives through tax increases? Did Treasury Secretary Geithner and Economic Council Director Summers give the game away when they both said on the first weekend in August that tax increases cannot be ruled out?
They were talking about raising taxes to address deficit spending. The Chinese have said we must do something, and the Chinese are right in this - as in so much else.
So you're going to raise taxes across the board to reduce deficits - because the Chinese said we should? What about your pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class?
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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