Down With Tyranny made some excellent points in a post titled Beyond The Phony Battle Over The Bush Tax Cuts. I wish more people would push these points. Please read the entire post (bolding is mine), and then share it with everyone you can:
[I]t occurred to me that "our" side was fighting on a battlefield chosen precisely by our mortal enemies. Republicans should be begging Obama to not raise the margin tax rates to Eisenhower era rates-- when top earners paid 91% on the millions they made and the whole concept of sociopathic-criminal plutocracy was a structural impossibility in America. Instead, we're being prepared for Democrats bartering away pieces of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in return for... for what? The temporary Bush tax cuts that are due to expire on December 31 anyway?
Why isn't the national discussion about hiking the estate tax? Why isn't it about ending the cap on the Social Security tax and on really growth-positive moves like lowering the age of retirement and expanding Medicare so that everyone is in the pool? Why isn't the discussion about taxing all income equally, both what people make from working and what they get from clipping coupons? How about that Wall Street transaction tax and a tax to make hedge fund predators pay their fair share like everyone else?
Why indeed. Where exactly is that discussion? Because it's more important than most of the Very Important jargony, babbly, redundant debate we see from the same old Very Important jargony, babbly, redundant political commentators. Why are we not regularly engaging and exploring proposals like these, instead of hearing the usual tax cuts/Medicare eligibility talking points repeated ad nauseam?
And for more on the Fiscal BS Pile, here's Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:
The Republicans are stuck proposing unpopular cuts to achieve their made-for-the-rich austerity.
Hypothetically, once all the tax cuts expire and the Democratic Senate were to vote out a bill restoring the savings to the middle class but not the wealthy, Boehner and his Barbary Pirates are going to have to suck lemons and vote for it [...]
As for the so-called "deficit reduction," let it be the burden of those who ran up the deficit under Bush after Clinton left the Republicans a balanced budget in 2001; let it be their proposals as to what would be cut. Because the truth is it would finally provide the lie to their claims of an indulgent government budget; they'd have to cut the earned benefits of seniors, veterans, the disabled, education, health and other programs that are vital to most Americans. They'd clip the US government down to the size of a Bonzai Tree, except for the military-industrial complex and subsidies for corporations and research that gives free technological and biomedical patents to businesses developed at taxpayer expense. [...]
And there's one final fact to remember: US voters elected a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and by more than a half a million votes preferred a Democratic House.
The only reason that the House is still Republican is due to gerrymandering after the 2010 election. It's perfectly legal, but the 2012 vote count showed that the majority of Americans preferred a Democratic House and the policies articulated by President Obama.
More at the link.