House Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee are drafting legislation to exempt families making less than $250,000 a year from the Alternative Minimum Tax, decrease the AMTâ€™s hit on families making $250,000 to $500 Gs, and dramatically increase the burden on families with annual incomes of over $500,000 a year. Some prominent Republicans call the proposal class warfare, including Rep. Paul D. Ryan (House Budget Committee) and Rep. Jim McCrery (Sr. Rep.-House Ways and Means Committee). My question is: Letâ€™s assume it is class warfare. Whatâ€™s wrong with that? Shouldnâ€™t Democrats and Republicans alike seek to benefit the 98% of American households who make less than $250k/year? Shouldnâ€™t both parties avoid providing benefits to the 2% of American households who already enjoy a great benefit (i.e., complete financial security)â€”whether due to their own hard work or due to their inherited station in life? How did caring for the richest of the rich become a Republican issue (Bushâ€™s tax cuts, because of how they were structured, lowered the AMT floor to hit more middle class people)? How did the Republicans become advocates of the parent penalty (folks with multiple kids are nearly four times more likely to pay the AMT than a childless taxpayer)? Remember Lincoln? Would he have done that? Hell, even Nixon wouldnâ€™t have done thatâ€”Nixon was pro-environment, and fought for the middle class and small businesses! The party has lost itâ€™s way, big time.
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