Is Obama’s “middle class tax cut” just AMT relief?

Why was the House "stimulus" bill only 22% tax relief when President Obama said the target should be 40%?

On Fox News Sunday today, Senator Durbin (D) IL, was asked this question. He replied that the Senate bill would fix this discrepancy by including the annual Alternative Minimum Tax "correction", bringing tax reduction in the bill to about 40%.  What???

The AMT "correction" has been applied yearly for well over a decade, correcting for the fact that the AMT law did not account for inflation.  As a result, virtually no one in the so-called "middle class" has ever paid the AMT.  Every year the "cost" of this non-tax grows far more rapidly than inflation as the bulk of the two-earner families slip through salary inflation into the income range addressed by AMT.  But never before has this been listed as a "tax cut".

Does this mean that President Obama’s campaign promise of massive "middle class tax relief" is satisfied primarily by simply "doing what we did before"?  Is the "change" we are waiting for simply semantic?  …simply a verbal slight-of-hand?

I hope not.  This would be very embarrassing to anyone who supported President Obama because of the "tax relief" promise.

I think Senator Durbin demonstrated very poor judgment by suggesting this "slight of hand" would be appropriate "relief".  I would discount this out of hand (as I do often when politicians say Billion when they mean Trillion) except for one thing….  Many politicians during the election promised to "not raise taxes" when they actually meant they would simply allow Bush’s tax cuts expire, thus ALLOWING taxes to rise without their explicit action.

If every time Congress "suspends" the AMT tax for one more year it can be called a "tax cut", then indeed every Congress for a very long time "cut taxes" every year!  It is as if they passed a law that their pay would go up every year IF THEY DO NOTHING TO STOP IT.  …oh, wait!  That is exactly what they did with their "inflation adjustment" for their pay rates!  Amazingly, they made the "inflation adjustment" to their pay automatic, but continue, year after year, to fail to permanently inflation adjust the trigger point for the AMT!

It is precisely this type of verbal gymnastics that suggest to the majority of us that politicians are morally corrupt.  Please help stomp out this foolishness by pointing out every time politicians speak deceptively.  Life is complex enough when we speak honestly and clearly.  We don’t need such double-speak!

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