Back in 2010, with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts closing in, Republicans were very fond of claiming that the pending expiration was creating vast amounts of “uncertainty” that was holding back the economy. “The number one reason out there why jobs aren’t being created: Uncertainty,” said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “The message from the election is that the uncertainty connected with the tax rates was a primary issue,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said in late November.
The tax deal that was cut in December extended all of the Bush tax cuts for two years. And even though the expiration of the current round of Bush tax cuts is not scheduled until January 2013, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) is already reviving the uncertainty talking point, claiming that businesses aren’t hiring because the cuts might expire two years from now:
Some might find comfort in the fact that the December tax relief package prevented an immediate tax hike on job creators organized as pass-throughs who pay their taxes at the individual rate. These employers are primarily small businesses. But that relief will be fleeting as they again face higher taxes in less than two years unless Congress acts. The uncertainty surrounding their future tax rates makes it even harder for them to plan, invest and create jobs.
That the GOP preferred a two-year extension of all of the Bush tax cuts over a permanent extension of the middle-class cuts alongside permanent expiration of the high-end cuts revealed this talking point for the canard that it is. They don’t want tax certainty; they want low taxes on the rich, as the tax deal proved. But it seems like the GOP is going to have no qualms about playing the same “uncertainty” card again and again, even with the scheduled Bush tax cut expiration still a long way off.