President Obama is mounting a push to let the Bush tax cuts expire for rich Americans, and the White House is confident he'll have enough votes to do it without wielding his veto. But vulnerable Democrats are increasingly turning away from Obama, fearing a backlash in the midterm elections if they don't vote with the Republicans to extend the breaks for everyone. Will Obama be able to persuade his party to let taxes rise for the wealthy?
Obama should go further: Obama's on solid ground — most Americans want to let tax rates rise for the rich, says Ezra Klein at The Washington Post. If anything, the White House is going too far by suggesting we make the middle class tax breaks permanent. It makes far more sense to extend them for three years, "and, if the economy is back, reevaluate then."
"Extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans is unpopular"
The Democrats lose, either way: If conservative-leaning Democrats desert Obama, says Allahpundit at Hot Air, they'll ruin the Democratic strategy of screaming about how Republicans are the "party of the rich." But if they "stick with the party" it will leave them with the "horrible optics" of killing a tax cut in this economy. They can't win.
"Debate over: Obama rules out extending Bush tax cuts for richest taxpayers"
Democrats will kick this into the long grass: With moderate Democrats "digging in," Obama probably won't muster enough Senate votes to pass his plan, says Manu Raju in Politico. This kind of internal battle will be too damaging to fight in the last weeks of a midterm election campaign, so it's likely they'll drop it before long. Those who want "real congressional action on taxes and spending" may have to wait until after the election.
"Dems may punt on Bush tax cuts"