Nancy Pelosi Shows Republicans Aren’t The Only Ones Who Don’t Understand “Middle Class”
10:25 am, June 2nd | by Lilly ODonnell
Apparently millionaires are middle class now, according to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Which I guess means that those of us who were previously hanging on for dear life to the bottom rungs of the middle class can just give up and start referring to ourselves as paupers.
Ending the costly and impractical Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest Americans has been a high priority for the Obama administration, so Pelosi’s suggestion to extend some of them permanently was unexpected. And the Washington Post wasn’t pleasantly surprised.
In an editorial, the Post pointed out that the largest beneficiaries of the proposed cuts would be the super rich, since they would be able to pay a lower rate on their first million each year, and that the proposal would cost about 43 percent of federal revenue in 2013.
“Do Democrats really want their new slogan to be: “’Almost as irresponsible as the Republicans?,’” the editorial asked.
The Huffington Post reported that after the blowback for her proposal, Pelosi defended her position, arguing that extending the definition of middle class would be a place to start negotiating a new tax agreement, and that it’s an alternative to another short-term extension of the Bush Tax Cuts as a whole.
“Eighty-one percent of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts [for people making more than $250,000] go to the people making over $1 million a year … If that’s easier for the public to understand, then we should go that route.”
She’s right that it’s about time that some agreement was reached in order to prevent wholesale extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, but caving in to a stubborn Republican Congress that refuses to budge is not the same as compromising. And changing the definition of middle class is not the same thing as protecting the actual middle class — tax cuts for the rich are still tax cuts for the rich, even if you agree to start referring to the rich as middle class.