RUSH: Last week we talked about Charles Rangel’s new massive, one-trillion-dollar tax increase, which if ever enacted would be the largest tax increase in American history. Yesterday on the roundtable on Stephanopoulos’ show, George Will and Stephanopoulos are talking about Rangel’s plan. They have this exchange. It sounds to me like the Drive-Bys are trying to put distance between Hillary and Rangel.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Charlie Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — really, I think — threw a major cluster bomb in the presidential campaign this week when he announced his tax plan. He called it the Mother of all Tax Reforms. Republicans pounced and said it was the first major mistake of Democrats in this campaign.
WILL: Well, judging by the reaction of the Democratic presidential candidates, they’re not thrilled to have a man come in and say, ‘I have a number, trillion, that I associate with the tax cut.’
RUSH: Right, they may not be thrilled, but they damn well are going to do it! What they’re not thrilled about is that Rangel went public with it. But I told you why. Rangel is 77. He’s not thinking long-term here. Well, can we be honest? I don’t mean this to be a cut. The long-term doesn’t interest him on this — except, you know, for the sake of his legacy and posterity, how he can destroy America, but he’s not going to be around to see it destroyed at 77. Hopefully, he’ll be able to dream about it. So let’s go back to last Friday on CNN’s American Morning, the anchor John Roberts was interviewing Rangel, and Roberts says, ‘Is this an indication that if a Democrat gets into the White House, for many people in America, your taxes are going to go up?’
RANGEL: Of course not! You keep saying it, and the more you say it, the more people want to know, ‘Whose taxes will be going up?’
ROBERTS: Yeah, but —
RANGEL: You know, when you get —
ROBERTS: But some people’s taxes will increase.
RANGEL: If you are receiving a preferential tax treatment that you don’t deserve, you can call it what you want, a tax increase. We will be calling it a loophole.
ROBERTS: So are you saying that high-income earners are getting a preferential tax break now that they shouldn’t be getting?
RANGEL: The only reason we can bring down the corporate tax rate is because under the higher tax rate, some people are paying no taxes at all. So what we’re doing is pulling out the unfairness, lowering the rate, and we are doing the same thing for middle-income taxpayers.
RUSH: This is absurd! He’s lowering the corporate rate I think from 35 to 31 and a half. He’s going to play his little games with the AMT, and then soak anybody 150 grand and up if they’re single; 200 grand and up if they’re married, with an effective tax rate of 44% when you combine the sunsetting of the current tax cuts, which expire in 2010. But how about this language, folks? ‘If you’re receiving a preferential tax treatment that you don’t deserve…’ This is how they look at it. What is preferential tax treatment? To Charlie Rangel, it’s the reduction in rates of 39% to 35%. That’s on the upper marginal rate. That’s the top marginal rate. That was the effect of the Bush tax cuts in both 2001, 2003. So, to Charlie Rangel, that’s ‘a preferential tax treatment you don’t deserve.’ Well, let’s go back to last Thursday night. Rangel announced his big plan last week, and Hillary had this big birthday bash at the Beacon Theatre, and here’s what she had to say about Rangel.
HILLARY: Leaders like Charlie Rangel are beginning to make a real change, but they don’t have a president on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue who sees the problems, who hears the concerns that we do. So we’re going to begin to reconstruct what it takes to have that sense of positive possibility again.
RUSH: What is that? That is a gobbledygook, a mirage of things, there’s no substance whatsoever. Basically, though, what she’s saying — I can translate this because I know liberal, and it’s a separate language — what she’s saying is: ‘Rangel’s plan is great. We just don’t have a guy in the White House who would sign it into law, so we need to get back into the White House so that we can reconstruct what it takes to have that sense of positive possibility again.’ The liberals think that they’re wasting away in the wilderness. They’re dying away. All hope has been taken from them. All hope! (crying) They have no hope, and there’s no hope for even the positive possibilities of possibilities. So they gotta get somebody in the White House who can restore hope and positive possibilities — and enact Charles Rangel’s tax plan. It doesn’t sound to me like she’s distancing herself from Chuck Rangel’s tax plan. Does it to you? Let’s listen to her husband, Slick Willie. This was also at the Clinton birthday party, Hillary’s birthday party at the Beacon Theatre, and this is a portion of his introduction of Hillary.
BILL CLINTON: I especially want to thank, uh, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel. Literally within hours of Senator Moynihan announcing his retirement, the first New Yorker to call Hillary and urge her to run for the Senate was Charles Rangel. (applause) We owe him this day, and we are grateful to him.
RUSH: As though she had never thought of it! She’s minding her own business. Moynihan says, ‘I’m outta here.’
Charles Rangel gets on the phone, ‘Hillary, you should run.’
‘Why, I don’t recall ever having thought of that, Charlie. Thank you.’ So Bill thanks Rangel for getting Hillary into the Senate race, but now, all of a sudden, Rangel comes up with his tax plan and it has nothing to do with Hillary? Damn well right it’s Hillary’s tax plan. It’s every Democrat’s tax plan! What do they do? They raise rates. By the way, here’s Rangel on the AMT.
(Playing of Rangel AMT spoof.)
RUSH: The New Alternative Maximum Tax: ‘You make it, we take it.’ (laughter) Everyone’s a winner! (laughter) Oh, it’s more fun than a human being should be allowed to have.