Some of the nation’s top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.

?Today’s question:

Should Democrats allow the Bush tax cuts to expire or extend them for another two years?

Michelle D. Bernard, president and CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum, said:

Extend Bush Tax Cuts, And For More than Two Years
Our unemployment is 9.5 percent, and has been teetering toward double digits for a year.  Growth is sluggish, and too many fear that it will remain that way.  Does this sound like a good time to increase taxes on work and investment?
Congress needs to extend the Bush tax cuts-all of them.  It’s tempting for Democrats to raise taxes on those with higher incomes, but we need those in upper income brackets (many of whom run small businesses and pay taxes through the individual income tax code) to have every reason to work hard and to have the resources to expand.   Raising taxes on investment would also be counter-productive.  Too many potential investors are today sitting on the sidelines.  Lowering the potential returns on investment would encourage them to stay there instead of investing their money so that businesses can expand.
Congress should act sooner rather than later, and implement the extensions for more than two years so that businesses and investors know the rules they will operate under, not just in 2012, but for years in the future.  Businesses and investors need this kind of certainty so they can plan how to use their resources and expand.  Encouraging productive work and business expansion is the only way to create real, sustainable growth.  Raising taxes would move our economy in the wrong direction.