In some sense, the Republicans have lost the narrative battle over the Bush “tax cuts.” Every administration sets tax rates: Carter raised, Reagan cut, Bush 41 raised, Clinton raised, and Bush 43 cut. “Cuts” is simply an arbitrary label of some part of the cycle apart from the whole. These are not proposals to cut taxes, simply to continue the existing Bush rates, which are now a decade old.
Second, the “millionaires and billionaires” label that has been attached to the 2 percent that were targeted to have their taxes raised is misleading, since 95 percent of these “rich” do not make a million dollars a year; the vast majority made between $250,000 and $500,000. Somehow, the guy who runs a restaurant or has a successful dental practice, often with great risks and responsibilities, and makes $300,000 becomes a greedy “millionaire and billionaire,” while such real billionaires as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates become models of generosity for wanting higher taxes.