Extend the Bush Tax Cut to the Bottom 99 Percent, But Not The Top 1 Percent

Expect the President to be under more pressure to give in to Republican demands that the Bush tax cut be extended to everyone — not just the bottom 98 percent but also the the top 2 percent, earning over $250K.

He should respond by offering this olive branch: Extend the Bush tax cuts to the bottom 99 percent — to families earning less than half a million dollars.

But not to the top 1 percent.

The top 1 percent now gets almost a quarter of the nation’s total income — a larger share than at any time since the 1920s. The top 1 percent have also received about 40 percent of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.

The “Not for the Top 1 Percent” olive branch will draw a clear line in the sand. If Republicans won’t accept the offer, let them threaten to raise everyone else’s taxes in order to get a sweet deal for their patrons at the very top.

About Robert Reich 545 Articles

Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

He has served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford administration and as head of the Federal Trade Commission's policy planning staff during the Carter administration.

He has written eleven books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Supercapitalism. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine. His weekly commentaries on public radio’s "Marketplace" are heard by nearly five million people.

In 2003, Mr. Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclev Havel Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2005, his play, Public Exposure, broke box office records at its world premiere on Cape Cod.

Mr. Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

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