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Tax cuts: Are Democrats foolish to punt?
Critics say the Dems are throwing away a golden opportunity by not picking an election-season fight with the GOP over tax cuts for the wealthy
 
Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Corbis

Democratic leaders in Congress signaled they won't hold a vote on extending the "Bush tax cuts" until the post–Nov. 2 lame duck session, putting off what was billed as one of the big showdown votes of the 2010 election. The Democrats' plans to extend the tax cuts only to households earning less than $250,000 faced long odds against a promised Republican filibuster, but many strategists saw it as a winning way to box in the GOP. Are the Dems blowing it by shelving the issue?

The Dems are committing "political suicide": This is "one of the nuttiest decisions, on pure political grounds, I've ever seen," says Jonathan Chait in The New Republic. The polls are strongly with the Democrats on this one, but apparently a few moderates don't want to hold a vote because the GOP will paint it as a "tax hike" on the rich. Well, guess what? Your brilliant "Curl Up In A Fetal Position Plan" will be painted as a tax hike for everyone.
"Democrats decide on political suicide"

Democrats have already made their point: "Pretty much anything we do will be twisted to attack us," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), to Politico, whether we hold the vote or not. "I think the important thing is that we're all on record saying we want to protect the middle class that we're going to go to the mat for the middle class, and we're going to vote that way."
"Dems divided over political fallout"

Losing is better than folding: "Not having a vote just looks like surrender," says Michael Tomasky in The Guardian. Yes, Republicans and a few "short-sighted" Democrats will block the vote in the Senate, but that's no reason not to hold it. Punting is tantamount to saying the rich will get their tax cut. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from welcoming the Democrats' coming losses is the "Bedlam inmates running on the other side."
"Tax cut vote on ice in Senate"

 

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