Dems Appear to be Actually Fighting the Good Fight on Taxes
Greg Sargent at The Plum Line highlights the new stronger Democratic rhetoric on the Bush tax cuts. It's about time:
Sherrod Brown, who is in a competitive race in Ohio, flatly stated that the President’s proposal is right on the substance and on the politics.
“This is simply restoring the tax levels from years ago on two percent of taxpayers," Brown told me. “I don’t know why some Democrats are queasy. Possibly they think it’s better messaging if the cutoff is $1 million. Elected officials at this level know a lot of people who make $300,000. We generally don’t spend enough time with people who make $30,000.”
“But I think the president is right here,” Brown continued. “The American public thinks that if you make a quarter million dollars, you’re doing really well. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be shouting this from the rooftops.”
“I think independents will see this exactly as the president does — that people making that much can afford to pay a little more,” Brown said.
Senator Jeff Merkley, meanwhile, stressed that Obama’s proposal would keep the tax rates low on income up to $250,000, even for those who make more than that.
“We shouldn’t shy away from this — it’s good policy and good politics as well,” Merkley said. “The point that should be recognized is that this plan essentially treats everyone equally. Those who earn more than $250,000 will still get the cut on the first quarter million they make. The only question in this argument is whether the top two percent are going to get a bonus tax break at the expense of the treasury. And the answer is No.”
There's room for heaping doses of cynicism, of course. National Democrats had apparently been assuming the economy would start improving on its own enough to run on saving the economy and replaying the Morning in America campaign. With that option off the table, they're being forced to win votes through economic progressivism.
At this point, though, it matters less how we got here than that we're here now. The most important thing now is to hold these people to their promises not to extend the Bush tax cuts, at least over the $250,000 mark. It's basic common sense.