I was disappointed to hear, after watching President-Elect Obama's interview with Tom Brokaw yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press, that he and his economic advisers are still deciding whether or not to do away with the Bush preferential tax rates for the wealthy now or simply let them play out until 2011. Even if only as a symbolic gesture towards the reversal of the Bush pro-wealthiest Americans stance, these unfairly-weighted rates must be eliminated and those making over $250K per year must pay more, as they did only a few years ago.
After campaigning on a platform of making the tax system more fair, it is the least that this new administration needs to do, to strike a blow towards more fairness and acknowledgement of the importance of the middle class, which took it in the shorts under Bush. Repealing the Bush tax cuts would send a signal that Obama does not intend on doing business as usual, especially in this very important area. He should also quickly work on the so-called "Death Tax" -- actually the inheritance tax -- advantage which the wealthy have been playing under Bush's regime.
To understand some of the issues behind what the favoring of the upper-upper income class has done to America -- and it's not good -- please read this excellent article from today's AlterNet entitled "The Rich Are Hogging Our Common Inheritance -- We Must Take It Back" by Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly, authors of the book Unjust Desserts. Here is an interview with Alperovitz and Daly from Dissent Magazine, worth reading, too. (Here is an audio podcast of an interview with Lew Daly, too.)
The unfair Bush tax scheme was one of the key issues for me in the past election. After all of McCain's lying and negative characterization of Obama's plan to make more fair, for the betterment of America's economy, the current tax code, to not do it, and quickly, is simply a mistake. I don't like the message it sends, and I'm with Joe Biden -- if you make a lot of money, paying taxes is your patriotic duty. Read that article -- I think you'll agree with me.