Democrats and taxes

I get that Republicans have their ridiculous, totally untethered from economic reality, no more taxes ever theology, but damn if it isn’t frustrating to see “conservative” Democrats act equally foolishly.  Especially when they don’t need to.  From Friday’s Post:

While Republican tensions over tackling the national debt have been on public display for days, Democrats have also been squabbling with one another, though largely out of view.

At issue for Democrats is whether the party risks going overboard in its embrace of tax increases — a perilous proposition for lawmakers from political battlegrounds.  [emphasis mine]

Perilous?  Really?  Here’s more:

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), facing reelection next year, spoke up to oppose a plan being drafted by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad that would impose a new surtax on millionaires of about three percent on top of the higher tax rates they would face when the George W. Bush tax cuts expire next year, according to several people familiar with the exchange.

Nelson later explained through a spokesman that he was opposed to “double taxation,” even on the wealthy.

Another centrist on the budget committee, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), has also opposed the idea.

Several centrist Democrats have been voicing concern in private sessions that Conrad’s draft may be shifting too far to the left in order to placate liberals on the committee whose votes are needed to move the legislation, according to aides.

The thing is, raising taxes on rich people is about as popular a policy as killing Islamic terrorists!  Are Democrats so afraid of raising taxes, period, that they can’t even raise them in ways that are obviously quite popular with the public?  Chait, of course, has written about this time and time again, but here’s a relevant snippet:

By more than a three-to-one margin, the public opposes “cutting the growth of spending” on Medicare or Social Security benefits, or any tax increase on the middle class. What specific measure do they support? Raising taxes on the rich. 60% of the public says we should raises taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year. 72% want to raise taxes on households earning more than $1 million.

Interestingly, 42% of Republicans favor a tax hike on $250,000 households, and 56% of them favor a tax hike on households earning over a million. But zero percent of Republican elected officials in Washington favor this approach

Has the Republican anti-tax jihad succeeded so well that they’ve frightened some Democrats into opposing what are even clearly popular tax increases?  Survey says– yes.   Ugh.

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