By John Dyslin -
So, we avoided the so-called “Fiscal Cliff.” Actually, we went over the cliff as the Bush tax cuts expired at midnight on December 31 and the Senate did not pass the Avoiding Fiscal Cliff bill until early Jan. 1 and the House did not pass it until New Year’s Day night. But with the passage of the Avoiding Fiscal Cliff bill, the Bush-era tax rates will become permanent for 99 percent of the population. Only those making $400,000 individually or $450,000 for a family will see their tax rates go up. There also won’t be any spending cuts that were determined by the Debt Ceiling Agreement of 2011 with what was called “sequestration.”
The Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff bill split Republicans. It even split conservatives. Conservative stalwarts such as Sens. Tom Coburn and James Inhofe from Oklahoma as well as outgoing Rep. Don Manzullo of Illinois voted for the bill. Other conservatives like Rep. Daryl Issa of California and Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky voted against it. On the blogs I even did battle with fellow Republicans over the bill. To some of them, I guess I am a RINO (Republican in Name Only) because I supported this bill. In fact, lately some conservatives have called me just that: a RINO. I've also been called a "liberal" by some. That ought to shock those that have called me "a right-wing mad man," "far right," or "ultra conservative" over the years!
It’s not that I think it is a great bill. I don’t believe taxes should go up on anyone, even if they are wealthy. I support the bill because it made the Bush tax cuts permanent for 99 percent of the population. It also helped with the estate taxes and some other tax rates. I also support it because if it didn’t pass Republicans, and especially conservatives, would be blamed as the ones who increased taxes on the lower and middle classes. Furthermore, they were conservative tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, and I didn’t want to see the conservative-passed tax cuts end at the hands of conservatives while liberals were in favor of extending them.
The irony in all of this, and it should give conservatives some satisfaction, is that for 10 years the Left ridiculed the Bush tax cuts as “tax cuts for the rich.” Obviously, they were not “tax cuts for the rich.” They were tax cuts that largely helped middle and lower income Americans. So, after 10 years of ridicule, liberals now support the Bush tax cuts.
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John Dyslin hails from Illinois.