Axelrod Suggests, Then Denies, White House is Caving on Bush Tax Cuts
The White House is giving progressives concerned about the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy a bit of whiplash this morning. To paraphrase Katy Perry, they were in and then out, yes and then no.
First thing this morning, it looked like the administration had finally given in to House Republicans. A HuffPo story this morningsuggested that the White House was making strong signals--based on an interview with David Axelrod--that in order to "protect the middle class" a cave on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy might be necessary.
But now they're denying it, saying that nothing has changed since last week. Axelrod slammedthe thrust of the HuffPo story, saying "There is not one bit of news here. I simply re-stated what [Obama] and [his press secretary] have been saying. Our two strong principles are that we need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, but we can't afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy."
Hmm. That's not entirely comforting. While it's good that there's been no explicit go-ahead for the Republicans, we're still waiting on a firm, incontrovertible White House position on the issue of the tax cuts. We still don't know whether the wealthy will get to wallow in an extension of their big tax break. It all remains quite fuzzily obscured. And these kinds of back and forth statements on the issue are bad news for those of us who'd like to see those tax for the super-rich cuts expire, permanently.