Dear MoveOn member,
Most of us think that the presidential election will be the major battle in 2012 between President Obama and the Republicans. But another huge fight will happen after the elections are over, when Congress will vote whether or not to end the Bush tax cuts for the 1%.
President Obama can end this fight before it begins by committing to veto any deal that extends the Bush tax cuts for the 1% today.
At the end of 2010, Republicans held important safety net programs like unemployment insurance hostage in order to get the Bush tax cuts for the 1% passed. They'll try the same thing this year, but the president can take away their leverage by stating unequivocally that he will not extend the Bush tax cuts for the 1% under any circumstances.
The president made the case for vetoing the extension of tax cuts during the State of the Union last month. Here's what he said:1
Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else—- like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both...we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.
None of the Republican schemes will work if President Obama makes it clear right now that he will not extend the Bush tax cuts for the 1%. He can do this today to demonstrate his commitment to the 99%. If enough of us sign, he'll know that we'll have his back if he doesn't back down.
The lost revenue sitting in the bank accounts of the 1% is money that the country needs to fix and build infrastructure, fund education, and care for the elderly who depend on Medicare. It will help grow the innovative energy and information economies of the future.
Mitt Romney and other Republicans continue to make it clear that they have little interest in these types of necessary investments. Instead, they want to protect the 1% at all costs.
President Obama can draw a sharp contrast with his opponent in the election by committing today to fight for the 99%. We need a firm, specific commitment from him today not to extend the Bush tax cuts for the 1% so that there's no doubt where he will stand in December.
Thanks for all you do.
–Garlin, Elena, Lenore, Carrie, and the rest of the team
1. "President Obama's State of the Union Address," The New York Times, January 25, 2012
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