They passed a bill two years ago, and it seemed to meet the criteria of the anti-tax pledge. That bill sets the tax rates, and on January 1st, in accordance to that bill, the tax rates will return to the Clinton-Era tax rates, for all taxpayers.
Any bill passed that takes affect after January 1st, and that sets any tax rates lower than what they will otherwise be on January 1st, is a tax cut.
I don’t think it is good policy to make the tax rates MORE progressive, but it isn’t a tax increase.
If we pass a bill on January 1st that lowers the tax rate for all earning up to 1 million dollars, that will be a tax cut for EVERY TAXPAYER. Because even those who earn more than 1 million will have their first million taxed at a lower rate.
The fault is those who in 2001 passed a tax bill which expired in 2011, and those in 2010 who passed a tax bill which expires in 2013.
I have a feeling those who earn more than a million dollars would prefer the “Plan B” bill to NOT passing anything.
Had the administration sought to make the tax cuts permanent in 2001, there would have been NO "Bush tax cuts".
By the rules of the Senate, a "permanent" tax cut is subject to filibuster -- a "temporary" (10 yrs. max.) tax cutcan be passed via reconciliation and is filibuster-proof.
At the time, the Senate was split 50-50, with VP Dick Cheney holding the deciding vote. No way a permanent tax cut gets passed under those circumstances.
If you want to blame somebody for the "temporary" status of the Bush tax cuts, blame Tom Daschle and the Democrats.