Castor disagrees with Sink: Bush's tax cuts for the top 2% need to go

09/08/10 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:


Today President Obama announced a new economic plan that includes letting tax cuts for the wealthy end in January.

In 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two laws that now constitute what’s known as the Bush Tax Cuts. The George W. Bush Administration pushed both, and both expire at the end of this year. Proponents say they boosted the economy, but critics say they disproportionately benefited the rich. Today President Obama proposed letting the tax cuts expire for the top two earning tiers, but leave them in place for families earning less than $250,000 a year. U.S. member of Congress Kathy Castor says there are some key differences between the current and former presidents’ tax proposals.

Castor says tax cuts for the rich are not appropriate for a country fighting two expensive wars with money it doesn’t have.

Castor adds that, had additional tax revenue from the rich been there, the recession might not have been as bad.

The president also wants Congress to consider a $50 billion investment in infrastructure that includes road, airplane runways, research and development tax credits, and a 100 percent tax write-off on new spending for small businesses. Castor says a sweeping majority of Americans would benefit from the new policies, especially the middle class tax cuts.

The plan has seen opposition from Republicans, who want tax breaks for the rich to stay in place. Today President Obama accused the GOP of playing politics ahead of the midterm elections. But one key Florida Democrat has come out in support of extending the Bush tax cuts for all income brackets. That’s Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink. She faces a tough battle with wealthy Republican Rick Scott. Scott had accused Sink of supporting letting tax cuts for the wealthy expire. In a media release yesterday, Sink responded that Scott’s accusation was false, and extending the cuts is necessary in order to get people back to work. WMNF asked Castor what she thought of Sink’s statement.

"I respectfully disagree because we are in such a hole because of the Republican policies of the past years," Castor said.

Some Democratic incumbents facing tough reelection races in conservative districts have also come out against ending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. There is no word on whether Congress will take up the sweeping tax legislation before the November 2 election.

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I'm glad Ms. Castor has taken a stand on this issue. I don't worry too much about Ms. Sink's comment since she's running for a statewide office and given her resume it's not much of a surprise that she'd come down on the conservative mantra of paying the rich for their political contributions. Let's just hope Ms. Sink can avoid chasing Rick Scott to the right on other issues.