My heart leapt when I saw Tim Russert put the Kennedy “tax cut” chart up on his screen on yesterday’s ‘Meet the Press.’ This is exactly what American economic policy should be:

1. Fiscal responsibility – low interest rates – economic growth.

2. Protect Social Security and provide some funds for things like prescription drug assistance to the elderly.

3. How? By adopting this tax plan:

FIRST 80% of Americans (those with income up to $72,000 a year): KEEP 100% of the tax cut and make it permanent!

NEXT 15% (those of us with income from $72,000 to $147,000 a year): KEEP 99% of the tax cut and make it permanent. (Average annual ‘cost’ to this group in less than originally expected tax cuts: $17.)

Subtotal: for 95% of Americans, last year’s tax cuts would be 99% or 100% preserved and made permanent.

NEXT 4% (income from $147,000 to $373,000): KEEP 87% of the tax cut (all but, on average, $432 a year) and make that, too, permanent.

TOP 1% (those of us with income above $373,000): KEEP 19% of the tax cut for now (which is not nothing – about $10,000 a year, on average) – and provide a larger break if and as it turns out we can afford it.

Is this cruel to those earning more than $373,000 a year? I don’t think so. In the long run, what group of Americans will benefit more from a sound, prosperous economy than the top 1%?

Tomorrow: What They’re Saying In The Official Arab Press


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