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Today I have bad and good news. TPM made public a list of 31 Democrats in the House of Representative who are breaking with the president’s plan to cut taxes for the middle class while allowing tax giveaways for the wealthy to expire. These so-called Democrats are signatories to a letter to Nancy Pelosi that repeats debunked Republican arguments about how allowing the tax bracket of the 2% of the richest Americans to rise less than 4% points will crash the economy. (Even Republicans don’t really believe that stuff!)  

That’s the bad news. The good news? To date, none of Missouri’s Democratic House delegation are on that list! Sing Hallelujah!

Given that Senator McCaskill has been dancing around the issue, telegraphing her willingness to give the goods away if anyone asks, and the fact that Robin Carnahan managed to do just that before anyone even knocked on her door to ask, this comes as a pleasant surprise. I had begun to think that Missouri’s Democrats were a pretty worthless bunch. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, Russ Carnahan, Lacy Clay and Ike Skelton are to be congratulated for standing up for the people that they represent on this issue.

There is no way that extending the Bush tax giveaways for the wealthy does anyone any good. The tax cuts do not, contrary to GOP claims, affect most small businesses; economists argue convincingly that they will play little or no stimulative role; and, to cap it all off, they will cost 1.1 trillion dollars over ten years – which is to say that they will really bolster up the big, bad, deficit boogeyman that the right wing has been using to herd weak Democrats rightwards. To top it all off, for once, Americans seem to recognize that extending the tax cuts is a stupid idea – with maybe the exception of the Tea Party where stupid seems to be king.

Just to encourage these gentlemen to keep on keeping on, I suggest that those of you who live in their districts, if  you are so inclined, drop them an email or give them a phone call and let them know that you are gratified by the respect they are showing their constituents and to good policy:

Russ Carnahan: (Email Contact page; phone nos.)

Lacy Clay (Email contact page*; phone nos.)

Emanuel Cleaver (Email contact page; phone nos.)

Ike Skelton (Email contact page; phone nos.)

Just remember, if progressives can’t win on this issue, we might as well just give up and get minimum wage jobs helping McCaskill parcel out the goods to the waiting Tea Party. We need to let our guys know that if they want us to stick with them, we need a win.

* Perhaps it’s just my browser, but but the email contact page on Lacy Clay’s website appears to be broken.