Dems On Taxmageddon
DEMS PLAY HARDBALL ON ‘TAXMAGEDDON’ - POLITICO’s John Bresnahan and Manu Raju write: “President Barack Obama and congressional Democratic leaders enter the final stretch of the legislative year prepared to play hardball: They refuse to budge on the looming defense cuts and expiring Bush-era tax cuts. The Democratic hard line – asserted by Obama at a private Oval Office meeting with senior party leaders last week – is based squarely on the belief that Republicans will cave on taxes because the GOP has far less leverage than it did after its resounding success in the 2010 elections. Obama told Democratic leaders he would refuse to entertain any talk about separating $550 billion in defense cuts from the overall $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending reductions set by law to kick in next year – despite repeated demands from GOP leaders and the Pentagon to do so. The president reiterated there will be no compromising on extending Bush-era tax breaks for U.S. families that earn more than $250,000 annually. And Democrats are confident that voters will punish Republicans for the economy-shaking consequences if no deal is reached.
– “The tough tactics, embraced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and their top lieutenants, reflect the Democrats’ desire to stiffen their negotiating position with Republicans and quash speculation that they will cave – as they did when they extended the Bush tax cuts for two years after being routed two years ago.” http://politi.co/Q0nNO1
– On A1 of the Washington Post, Lori Montgomery has excerpts from a speech Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will deliver Monday about Democrats’ threat of going over the fiscal cliff. “‘If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013,’ Murray plans to say, according to excerpts of the speech provided to The Washington Post. If the tax cuts from the George W. Bush era expire and taxes go up for everyone, the debate will be reset, Murray is expected to say. …”If middle-class families start seeing more money coming out of their paychecks next year, are Republicans really going to stand up and fight for new tax cuts for the rich? Are they going to continue opposing the Democrats’ middle-class tax cut once the slate has been wiped clean? I think they know this would be an untenable political position.” http://wapo.st/NLxjRA
-- Reid is expected to bring his tax package to a vote next week. Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin has the details: “Senate Democrats are seeking to set the top tax rate on dividends at 23.8 percent, almost 20 percentage points lower than the proposal offered by President Barack Obama in his budget. That detail, along with a top estate tax rate of 45 percent and a one-year patch to prevent the alternative minimum tax from affecting millions more families, are part of the written version of Senate Democrats’ attempt to extend expiring income tax cuts for one year. The core of the proposal would extend the George W. Bush-era cuts through 2013 for 98 percent of households while letting them expire on income above $200,000 for individuals and above $250,000 for married couples.” http://bloom.bg/NZeWbC