The floodgates, opened by President Obama yesterday, over taxes have been opened on Capitol Hill.
And pouring out is the heavy election-year rhetoric with both parties trying to gain the upper hand with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts looming at year's end.
The Democrat's argument: the Republicans want to put more money into the hand of celebrities by wanting a full extension of the tax cuts.
"Congressional Republicans want to lavish huge across-the-board tax breaks on billionaire hedge fund managers and people like mega rich celebrities like Donald Trump," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said this morning on the Senate floor, "fabulously rich so-called small business owners like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton could qualify for these wasteful giveaways."
Senate Democrats on the Hill are getting in line with President Obama's call to cut off the extension of the current rates for anyone making more than $250,000 per year.
The Republican argument: by not extending the rates to those making above $250,000 a year, the president's plan would raise taxes on small businesses-job creators-in the middle of an already slow economic recovery. Republicans in Congress favor a full extension of the tax cuts.
"The president has a nightmarish economic record, a nightmarish economic record. by demanding higher taxes on the few, he's trying to direct attention from it," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this morning. "The president has already admitted that the last thing you do in the middle of a recession is raise taxes. He knows yesterday's proposal would only make the economy worse. He knows that. His goal isn't jobs. It's income redistribution. It's his idea of fairness, which means you earn, he takes."
To answer the criticism from Republicans about the negative impact cutting off the tax cut extension would have on small businesses, Senate Democrats have put on the floor this week a small-business tax cut bill that would give some small-business owners a 10 percent payroll tax cut for hiring new workers, increasing salaries or buying new equipment .
"Our legislation would also cut taxes on firms that invest in new development, allowing more than two million businesses to grow faster," Reid said this morning. "These two proposals will create almost a million new jobs. Economists from across the political spectrum agree this is the most effective way to give the economy a badly needed boost."
This afternoon the bill faces its first test vote in the Senate.