Things didnt end all that well for Thelma and Louise, in the eponymous 1991 Ridley Scott film, as they drove off a cliff in a desperate effort to evade legal and moral responsibility for having transformed themselves from non-descript mediocrities into common criminals. An alarmingly similar political saga, starring Democrats in Washington, D.C., is playing out today — although, unlike Thelma and Louises crimes, plundering citizens is, unfortunately, only illegal if you were not elected to do so.
Given President Obamas deep love for Hollywood or at least the money of its residents, one would think that he would be aware of the impact, if you will pardon the obvious pun, of driving off a cliff.
Yet Barack “Louise” Obama along with Senator Patty “Thelma” Murray D-WA seem hell-bent on taking the economic version of that same road trip, as if theyve never seen the end of the movie and arent smart enough to figure it out.
In a speech at the Brookings Institution on Monday, Murray, the second-ranking Democrat on the do-nothing Senate Budget Committee and Chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, put her foot on the accelerator of the Democrats doomed joy-ride, saying that her intent is to prevent any tax rate policy deal in Congress that does not include raising taxes on the “wealthy.” By wealthy, Thelma and Louise mean individuals making over $200,000 per year or families earning over $250,000, a standard that Chuck Schumer D-NY and a handful of electorally vulnerable Senate Democrats dislike, but one they will go along with when the time comes to cast a vote.
Raising taxes on the two percent of Americans who already pay about half of all federal income taxes is what strikes Democrats as “balanced”: “[I]f we cant get a good deal — a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share — then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013, rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus,” said Thelma.It takes a particular sort of mind to argue that not raising taxes on Mrs. Smith represents throwing Mr. Jones under the bus.
It takes a particular sort of mind to claim that the “wealthy” do not pay their “fair share” when the top one percent of earners pay more in federal income taxes than do the bottom 90 percent. Read that again; it is not a typo.And it takes a charlatan to imply to voters that this tax hike will have a significant impact on the federal debt and deficit: Even the White Houses own notoriously optimistic assumptions anticipate that the additional revenue due to raising the top two marginal income rates will represent less than seven percent of the coming decades cumulative deficits.
It is unlikely to do even that.