Playing politics with your pocketbook. Democrats don’t seem willing to let a vote come to either floor of the Congress before the November elections, but Pete Sessions says they may have little choice in the lame duck session:
The head of the Republican effort to gain a U.S. House majority predicts that, after the November elections, Democrats will have to accept an extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans as well as the middle class.
Representative Pete Sessions said Republicans won’t settle for allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to continue for only middle- class Americans, as President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders want.
“I cannot vote for and should not vote for a tax increase,” Sessions, of Texas, said on “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television. “If you leave out the investor and the person who brings capital to the table, you cannot grow the economy and we will continue to have joblessness.”
Sessions outlined a scenario of a lame-duck session, after the Nov. 2 elections and before he believes a Republican House majority will be sworn into office in January, as the venue for settling the question of 2001 and 2003 tax cuts set to expire Dec. 31.
Democrats are pushing Obama’s plan to let tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans expire and permanently extend lower rates on individuals with incomes up to $200,000 and for couples with incomes up to $250,000.
Two things to keep in mind, here. It was the Democrats’ goal all along to push for splitting the tax cut extension into measures for the “middle class” and “wealthy,” knowing full well that Republicans would demand the whole loaf. This would let Democrats act like they were trying to extend tax cuts for the middle class and blame Republicans for holding them hostage by sticking to demands for across-the-board extensions. This would give them something to campaign on: “Look at those evil Republicans, they’re trying to cut taxes for the richest Americans again, and holding middle-class tax cuts hostage!”
That hasn’t worked, and Americans are smarter than that.
But the other side of the coin is that Democrats can’t let the whole loaf of tax cuts get on the floor out of fear of alienating the liberal wing, a group that’s already a bit discouraged about the upcoming elections.
And last of all, who knows what a spiteful Democratic leadership might try tying the tax cut extension to during the lame duck. Name any of the policy goals they failed to get accomplished since gaining super-majority status in January 2009, and watch.