11/23/2010 11:19 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

John Boehner Is Holding Us Hostage

Do we pass middle class tax cuts for working families and grow the economy? Or do we allow John Boehner to hold middle class tax cuts hostage for millions of Americans so that he can deliver a tax bonus to the wealthiest 2% of Americans?

I say we Democrats fight for what's best for working families. No more political games. No more negotiating with hostage takers.

My proposal is simple:

  1. We extend tax cuts for 100% of Americans, so all income earned up to 200,000 receives a tax cut.
  2. We let the Bush tax cuts for any income earned over 200,000 expire, and avoid a 700 billion addition to the national deficit that we can't afford.

Americans have been clear all along: They don't want more tax cuts for the wealthy that will only add to our deficit, and those fighting for the Bush trickle down tax cuts know it.

John Boehner and the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party are threatening to stop tax relief for the middle class so that the wealthiest 2% of Americans can get their tax cut bonus.

They are trying to bully us into accepting a hostage agreement: If we want to pass the middle class tax cuts, we'll have to swallow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, too.

It's time to send a strong message that we won't be bullied into abandoning what's right for what's expedient.

Sign my letter to Republican leader John Boehner demanding his party stop holding the middle class tax cuts hostage. Instead he should join us, extend the middle class tax cuts, and let the Bush tax cut bonus for the wealthy finally expire.

Last week, John Boehner led House Republicans to defeat a bill to provide unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans. They claimed that we could not afford helping people struggling with unemployment because of the impact on the deficit.

Yet, they are perfectly willing to shoot a $700 billion hole in the deficit to provide a tax cut bonus for the rich.

Economists know that both unemployment benefits for those out of work, and tax cuts for the middle class, are far more likely to help working families and grow the economy than any bonus tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Bush's trickle down economics failed -- why should we continue them?

If the Republicans are as committed to reducing the debt and protecting regular Americans as they say they are, they'll not stand in the way of this important vote.

Join me in telling John Boehner: We won't let middle class Americans be held hostage by tax cut bonuses for millionaires and billionaires. We will not negotiate with the hostage takers. Click here to cosign my letter now!