Krauthammer: If Clinton Tax Rates Were “Economic Paradise,” Why Don’t We Return To Them Across The Board?

BRET BAIER: There are a lot of Democrats who are against the Bush-era tax cuts from the beginning, all of them "¦ characterizing them as only for the rich. Where now, they actually are for the middle class.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: And that's the great irony, that if you go over the cliff what w'ere going to get is a restoration of the Clinton rates on everybody. Which if you watch the campaign, the Democrats argued that the Clinton-era was an economic paradise. So, they balanced the budget, they created 20 million new jobs. So why not return to the Clinton tax rates across the board?

I just want to make one point about what the leverage is here. I think if the Democrats imagine that Republicans are going to cave without anything on spending, they are over-reading their hand. And the president understands that if he goes over the cliff, you poison the second term and that is really, I think, a threat to everything he wants to do.

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BILL KRISTOL: I think that this is a huge victory for Republicans. They get 98% of the Bush cuts signed by a Democratic president. These cuts were not made permanent when George Bush was president and Republicans controlled Congress. This is better tax policy from a Democratic president and a half Democratic-controlled Congress than Republicans were able to get put into law in 2005. Do they give away something? Yes. They have to give away the upper-income tax rates.

KRAUTHAMMER: As a matter of policy, it does absolutely nothing about our catastrophic deficits, it's eight cents on the dollar. It's all a political attempt by Obama. He created this issue as a way to have a class war issue in the campaign. It will have no effect on deficits, it will no effect on rescuing us and I think Republicans ought not play that game. It doesn't help the economy.

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