The Big Fail: Dems Desert Obamanomics

- July 10, 2012

More And More Democrats Are Emerging In Disagreement With Obama In Calling For Higher Taxes On The American People

THEN - President Obama, 2009: “The Last Thing You Want To Do Is Raise Taxes In The Middle Of A Recession.” (President Obama, Remarks During An Interview With NBC, Elkhart, IN, 8/5/09)

NOW – Vice President Biden, 2012: “It’s A Depression For Millions And Millions Of Americans.” (Vice President Biden, Remarks During A Campaign Event, Dubuque, IA, 6/27/12)


#16 – Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Disagrees With Obama’s Plan To Increase Taxes. “President Obama proposed today to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year for households making less than $250,000 annually. Menendez said he disagrees with the amount, thinking it should be higher.” (“Menendez Disagrees With Obama’s $250,000 Tax Cut Cap,” NJToday, 7/9/12)

#15 – Former Chairman Of The Democrat National Committee And Virginia Senate Candidate Tim Kaine Disagrees With Obama’s Threshold. “Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, prefers a $500,000 threshold.” (Seung Min Kim, Manu Raju, and Scott Wong, “Embattled Dems Buck President Obama On Taxes,” Politico, 7/10/12) 

#14 – Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) Believes That The Tax Cuts Should Be Extended For Those Making Below $500,000 A Year. “Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul, a top GOP target in her upstate New York House race, wrote to House and Senate leaders on Monday asking for a prompt vote to permanently extend tax rates for the middle class, noting that she, like Kaine, believed it should be set at $500,000.” (Seung Min Kim, Manu Raju, and Scott Wong, “Embattled Dems Buck President Obama On Taxes,” Politico, 7/10/12) 

#12 & 13 – Democrat Senate Candidates Heidi Heitkamp (ND) And Bob Kerrey (NE) Disagree With Obama’s Limiting The Tax Cut Extension For Those Below $250,000.  “Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, the North Dakota Senate candidate, also wants to extend the tax cuts for those making less than $1 million. Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who’s running again in his home state, ‘believes the $250,000 limit is too low but is evaluating how specific proposals would affect the budget,’ his campaign spokesman said.” (Seung Min Kim, Manu Raju, and Scott Wong, “Embattled Dems Buck President Obama On Taxes,” Politico, 7/10/12) 

#11 - Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) Says That Congress May Have Little Choice But To Extend The Bush Tax Cuts At The End Of The Year. “Congress likely will have little choice but to extend Bush-era tax cuts and delay a year-end deadline that would trigger deep, automatic spending cuts, to avoid another recession, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. said on Friday. Since public confidence in Congress ‘took a really big, devastating hit because of the debt ceiling (arguments), you’ll have a lot of people — investors, taxpayers, markets — that’ll start to get worried in September’ that Democrats and Republicans won’t agree on how to avoid the cuts, Casey told Tribune-Review editors and reporters.” (Jeremy Boren and Mike Wereschagin, “Casey: Congress Likely To Keep Tax Cuts, Spending,” The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/23/12)

#10 - Member Of President’s Fiscal Commission And Clinton OMB Director Alice Rivlin Said The Tax Increases Should Be Postponed. RIVLIN: “Well, I think you have to postpone the tax increases, but with a requirement to fold it into tax reform and entitlement reform in the next session that has some teeth in it. And that wouldn't be easy to design. But if there is a sense of urgency, which we feel there ought to be, then everybody's got to be committed to do that.” (Alice Rivlin, Testimony Before The Senate Committee On Finance, Washington D.C., 6/19/12)

#8 & 9 - Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) And Sen. Joe Machin (D-WV) Have Declined To Endorse Democrats’ Call For Repealing The Bush Tax Cuts. “Democrats running for reelection, such as Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have declined to endorse their leadership’s call for a tax increase on wealthy families.” (Alexander Bolton, “Senate Dems Balk At Ending Bush-Era Tax Rates On Wealthy Without A Deficit Deal,” The Hill, 6/19/12)

#6 & 7 - Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) And Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) Are Against Raising Taxes On Any Income Brackets. “Retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is holding fast to his position that tax rates should not be raised on any income brackets, and retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) says that is his position as well, though he appears more flexible on the issue.” (Alexander Bolton, “Senate Dems Balk At Ending Bush-Era Tax Rates On Wealthy Without A Deficit Deal,” The Hill, 6/19/12)

#5 - Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) Will Vote For Temporary Extension Of All Bush Tax Cuts. “U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson said Monday that he would vote for a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax cuts before they expire at year’s end. ‘I’m going to vote to extend them,’ the Utah Democrat said. ‘In a tough economy, you want to be careful about significantly reducing spending or increasing taxes.’ Matheson’s position puts him at odds with President Barack Obama.” (Robert Gehrke, “Matheson Backes Extending Bush Tax Cuts,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 6/11/12)

#3 & 4 - Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) And Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) Have Refused To Rule Out An Extension Of All Of The Bush Tax Cuts. “Democratic leaders maintain they are content to play defense, but are worried that some vulnerable Democrats might defect and support a temporary extension of all the Bush-era rates, which would undercut their negotiating position. Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.), two Democrats facing tough races this year, on Thursday declined to rule out support for an across-the-board extension of the rates.” (Alexander Bolton, “Democrats Paralyzed On Tax Cuts,” The Hill, 6/8/12)

#2 - Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) Is Undecided On Full Extension Of Bush Tax Cuts. “Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who is up for reelection in 2014, said he is undecided about whether to support another temporary extension of the Bush tax rates for all income brackets.” (Alexander Bolton, “Democrats Paralyzed On Tax Cuts,” The Hill, 6/8/12)

#1 - President Bill Clinton: “They Will Probably Have To Put Everything Off Until Early Next Year. That’s Probably The Best Thing To Do Right Now.” CLINTON: “Well, I think what it means is they will have to extend – they will probably have to put everything off until early next year. That’s probably the best thing to do right now.” (CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” 6/5/12)

  • “Former President Bill Clinton Broke Sharply With President Obama Over The Bush-Era Tax Cuts  …” “Former President Bill Clinton broke sharply with President Obama over the Bush-era tax cuts, calling on Congress to renew them temporarily in the face of ongoing economic malaise. ‘That's probably the best thing to do right now,’ Clinton said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC.” (Byron Tau, “Clinton Breaks With Obama Over Bush Tax Cuts,” Politico, 6/5/12)


Obama Is Even “Intrigued” By The “Elegance” Of Letting All Of The Bush Tax Cuts Expire

President Obama Is “Intrigued By [The] Elegance” Of Allowing All Of The Bush Tax Cuts To Expire. “In November 2009, Orszag would tout an idea that divided the economic team and inspired contempt in the political shop: extending for one or two years George W. Bush’s middle class cuts, which were scheduled to expire in 2011, then letting them lapse unless Congress found a way to offset their costs. During a meeting with Obama in the Oval Office, he casually outlined the proposal. The obvious defect was that it would be likely to break the president’s campaign pledge to oppose tax increases on the middle class. Nevertheless, Obama was intrigued by its elegance as a deficit-cutting maneuver, according to two people in the room. He also liked the idea of forcing Republicans to grapple with the costs of Bush’s policies. Only later did the politicos revolt—the vice president, for one, was apoplectic—and the president lost interest.” (Noam Scheiber, The Escape Artists, 2012, p. 154-155)

  • Several White House Officials Have Said Obama Would Allow All Of The Bush Tax Cuts To Expire If A Deal Is Not Reached By The End Of The Year. “Several White House officials I talked to made it clear that if a deal, or at least the framework for a deal, is not reached before December 31st Obama would allow all the Bush tax cuts to expire—a tactic that would achieve huge deficit reduction, but in a particularly painful and ill-conceived fashion.” (Ryan Lizza, “The Second Term,” The New Yorker, 6/11/12)

“Obama Would Block Extension Of The Reductions, Either As A Final Act In Office After Losing The November 2012 Election Or After Winning A Second Term.” “A White House official argued Sunday that the president had another trump card to play: the scheduled expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts at the end of 2012. Obama would block extension of the reductions, either as a final act in office after losing the November 2012 election or after winning a second term.” (Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura, “Did Obama Capitulate – Or Is This A Cagey Move?” The Washington Post, 7/31/11)

  • “Without Any Extensions, The Expiration Would Raise Taxes Next Year By $221 Billion.” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “An Often Procrastinating Congress Is Raring At The Gate On Tax Cuts,” The New York Times, 5/24/12)


“President Obama And Key Congressional Democrats Remain At Odds” Over The Extension Of The Bush Tax Cuts.  “With five months to go before the election, President Obama and key congressional Democrats remain at odds on whether the threshold for extending the George W. Bush-era rates for families should be $250,000 per year or $1 million annually.” (Alexander Bolton, “Democrats Paralyzed On Tax Cuts,” The Hill, 6/8/12)

The Obama Administration Continues To Push For Them To Extended Only For Incomes Below $250,000. “A White House spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, sought to raise pressure on Republicans, while sticking with the administration’s $250,000 threshold. ‘The president has been clear that Congress must extend the tax rates for all families making less than $250,000 a year and let the rates for the very wealthiest expire at the end of the year,’ Ms. Brundage said.” (John D. McKinnon, “Pelosi Pushes Tax Hike For Those Making $1 Million Or More,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/12)

  • In Fact, The President’s Push For Higher Taxes For People Making Over $250,000 Has Been Basically Moribund Since Late 2010, When It Failed To Pass A More-Democratic Senate Than The Current Lineup.” (John D. McKinnon, “Pelosi Pushes Tax Hike For Those Making $1 Million Or More,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/12)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Asked For The Bush Tax Cuts To Be Extended For Incomes Below $1 Million. “Is House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi abandoning President Barack Obama in his effort to raise taxes on households making more than $250,000? It sure sounded that way on Wednesday. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Ms. Pelosi called on Republicans to pass a permanent extension of Bush-era tax levels for the middle class. The only group Ms. Pelosi singled out for a tax increase was people earning $1 million or more.” (John D. McKinnon, “Pelosi Pushes Tax Hike For Those Making $1 Million Or More,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/12)

  • Rep. Pelosi: “Democrats Believe That Tax Cuts For Those Earning Over A Million Dollars A Year Should Expire And That We Should Use The Resulting Revenues To Pay Down The Deficit.” (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Letter To Speaker John Boehner, 5/23/12)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Does Not Support Obama’s Tax On Incomes Over $250,000 Because That Is “Firmly In The Middle Class” And “Not Rich.” “But the president also wanted to raise taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year by limiting income-tax deductions they can take. That didn’t sit well with rank-and-file Democrats. Schumer said families that earn $250,000 or $300,000 a year aren’t rich enough to deserve extra taxes. He described them as ‘firmly in the middle class. They are not rich, and in large parts of the country, that kind of income does not get you a big home or lots of vacations or anything else that’s associated with wealth in America,’ he said.” (S.A. Miller, “Million-Dollar Idea,” The New York Post, 10/6/11)

  • Sen. Schumer: Taxing Over $250,000 “Fuzzies The Picture.” “Democrats have long argued that, in addition to cutting government spending, lawmakers should ask people at the top of the income spectrum to pay more in taxes to help tame the national debt. But setting the dividing line at $250,000, as Obama did during the 2008 campaign, ‘fuzzies the picture,’ said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the leading architect of the surtax proposal.” (Lori Montgomery, “Democrats Shift The Definition Of ‘Rich’ In Battle Over Taxes,” The Washington Post, 10/5/11)


USA Today’s Susan Page: “We Have Seen The Jobs Numbers Have Been Disappointing And That's Why The President Tried To Change The Subject To Talk About Taxes And For Whom The Bush Tax Cuts Should Be Extended.” USA TODAY’S SUSAN PAGE: “The President though owns what happens with the economy. We have seen the jobs numbers have been disappointing and that's why the president tried to change the subject to talk about taxes and for whom the bush tax cuts should be extended. he will be in Iowa talking about that issue. Mitt Romney will be talking about the issue of jobs. One works better for the president. The unemployment rate is 5.1%, way below the national average. He can try to talk about something other than the unemployment numbers.” (MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.,” 7/10/12)

CBS News’ Norah O’ Donnell During A White House Press Conference: “Is This Effort -- The White House Talking About Extending These Tax Cuts For Those Under $250,000 -- A Way To Distract From The Poor Job Numbers Last Friday?” CBS NEWS’ NORAH O’DONNELL: “Is this effort -- the White House talking about extending these tax cuts for those under $250,000 -- a way to distract from the poor job numbers last Friday?” (Press Secretary Jay Carney, White House Press Conference, 7/9/12)

Politico: “The Dour News Is A Blow To President Barack Obama.” “The dour news is a blow to President Barack Obama, who is asking voters for a second term amid constant attacks from Mitt Romney over his handling of the economy.” (Patrick Reis, “Jobs Report: Only 80K Last Month,” Politico, 7/6/12)

CNN’s Poppy Harlow: “Not Good Numbers At All For The Obama Administration.” (CNN, 7/6/12)

The Washington Post’s “The Fix” Headline: “President Obama’s Troubling Trend Line On Jobs.” (Chris Cillizza, “President Obama’s Troubling Trend Line On Jobs,” The Washington Post’s “The Fix,” 7/6/12)

MSNBC Headline: “Obama Tries To Steer Bus Tour Past Roadblock Of Jobs Numbers.” (Shauna Thomas, “Obama Tries To Steer Bus Tour Past Roadblock Of Jobs Numbers,” MSNBC, 7/7/12)

 “While The June Report Is Bad News In And Of Itself For Obama’s Political Prospects, It’s The Broader Trend Line That It Reaffirms That Should Be Of The Most Concern To The White House.” “While the June report is bad news in and of itself for Obama’s political prospects, it’s the broader trend line that it reaffirms that should be of the most concern to the White House.” (Chris Cillizza, “President Obama’s Troubling Trend Line On Jobs,” The Washington Post’s “The Fix,” 7/6/12)

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