With Republicans headed into a House majority and for total denial of the Obama agenda of rebuilding this economy, it seems likely that a continued middle class tax cut will be all but impossible without compromising with the GOP on temporarily extending the Bush tax cuts.
But just so we're all on the same page about this, we need to see just how wonderful those tax cuts to the wealthiest American individuals and corporations were for our national economy. The New York Times published Thursday a blog piece showing that GDP growth during the Bush years were the slowest since the end of WWII. In an era of massive financial deregulation, outsourcing of American jobs, relocation of corporations overseas, and so-called "free trade," annual GDP growth in the first half of the last decade was a lame 2-2.5%, and in the last five years was even lamer at less than 1%.
Looking more deeply into the chart, growth during the first Clinton term was less than 2.5% during his first term (after inheriting a crappy economy from George HW Bush and Reagan), but grew to over 4% in his second term once his economic reform took hold (as in tax increases, spending cuts and a balanced budget, all foolishly squandered by George W Bush). In fact, the lowest half of the chart is dominated by Republican presidents, from Eisenhower to Nixon to Reagan and both Bushes.
Bush 43's performance on the economy was worse even than Jimmy Carter, who some call the worst president in history.
The myth that Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility is simply crippling America. No party wants America to fail more.