Last Sunday, Obama senior campaign advisor David Axelrod made the talk show circuit proclaiming that last Tuesday’s election gave the president a clear mandate to increase taxes on the rich. A Rasmussen poll released Monday, which indicates that 60 percent of Americans favor continuing the Bush tax cuts suggests otherwise.
The New York Times announced that leaders in the president’s own party have now delivered the second blow of the “one-two punch” to Obama’s “soak the rich” plans by favoring the adoption of at least portions of Mitt Romney’s own tax plan.
Jonathan Weisman writes for the Times:
The proposal by Mr. Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, was envisioned to help pay for an across-the-board income tax cut, a move ridiculed by President Obama as window dressing to a “sketchy deal.” But many Democrats now see it as an important element of a potential deficit reduction agreement — and one they can claim to be bipartisan.
The cap — never fully detailed by Mr. Romney — is similar to a longstanding proposal by Mr. Obama to limit income tax deductions to 28 percent, even for affluent households that pay a 35 percent rate. But a firm cap of around $35,000 would hit the affluent even harder than Mr. Obama’s proposal, which has previously gotten nowhere in Congress.
According to Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., “there’s a renewed interest. Part of it is people reflecting on Obama’s proposal, but when Romney said what he said, it just added fuel.” He added, “I was a little surprised Romney proposed a dollar cap when he did it.”
Cuts to the military budget by sequestration and an expiration of the Bush tax cuts are set for early January unless headed off by Congress. According to U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., a lame duck session is the best time to act.
“The worst time to work together on a bipartisan basis is right before an election,” he claims, whereas “The best time to work on a bipartisan basis is right after an election.”
Read the full report in The New York Times.