Senate Dems Grow a Pair

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Congress, Taxes

I need to interrupt our gleeful snarking about Mitt Romney and his money and point to something significant that has happened in the Senate:

Until last week Senate Democrats seemed to lack a majority of votes to extend the middle class tax cuts alone. That allowed Republicans to portray the battle as between President Obama and Congress. But that changed when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) challenged Republicans to permit separate up-or-down votes on middle-income and high-end tax cuts, signaling he’s rounded up the votes to win. Republicans denied the offer.

Democrats hardened their position this week as party’s fourth-ranking Sen. Patty Murray (WA) vowed that Democrats won’t permit the lower rates for the rich to continue beyond their Dec. 31 expiration date, even if Republicans repeat their 2010 strategy and block tax cuts for the middle class if the wealthy don’t also get a full break.

Democrats scoffed at the Republican attacks Tuesday and pressed their advantage.

In other words, they are calling Mitch McConnell’s bluff. They will allow ALL Bush tax cuts to expire rather than extend the tax cuts for the wealthy.

Senate Republicans are frantically claiming the Dems are playing Russian Roulette with the economy, or saying they are holding the economy hostage. Of course, Dems say the same thing about Republicans.

Polling on what the public thinks is all over the map, btw. A recent McClatchy-Marist poll says that 52 percent of Americans want all tax cuts extended, while a recent Pew poll said they favor ending tax cuts for the wealthy by 2 to 1. I suspect the way the question is framed makes a big difference.

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3 Comments

2 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 18, 2012 @10:29 am

    This is a no-lose propositi…
    Wait!
    These ARE the Democrats I’m talking about.
    Well, ok – about as close as it comes for a party of (too many) cowards and corporatists.

    Let the tax cuts all expire.
    Blame it on the Republicans.
    And promise if President Obama wins, and if they have the House AND Senate, the first thing they will PROMISE to do is reestablish these middle-class tax cuts.

    But, if the Democrats don’t have President Obama, and BOTH houses, they can’t promise anything. Because the Republicans will block them, just like they’ve BLOCKED EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRATIC JOBS BILL IN THE LAST TWO YEARS!

    And if Republicans get control – the will give the rich even bigger tax cuts, but none for the middle class.
    And that Republicans have already talked about INCREASING the taxes on the middle class and poor, while giving their rich cronies even steeper tax cuts.

    The R’s want to play at “Class Warfare?”
    This.
    THIS, is how you Democrats can win at “Class Warfare.”
    Please, I beg you – DON’T BLOW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Theo  •  Jul 19, 2012 @6:50 am

    What c u n d gulag says. “Harry Reid (D-NV) challenged Republicans …” That’s always worked out really well. What I wouldn’t do for a good old arm-twisting Majority Leader like LBJ …

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