President Obama needs to have a talk with members of his own party. They are not singing from the same songsheet:
Democrats are looking at the possibility of raising taxes on families below the $250,000-a-year threshold promised by President Barack Obama during the election.
The majority party on Capitol Hill does not feel bound by that pledge, saying the threshold for tax hikes will depend on several factors, such as the revenue differences between setting the threshold at $200,000 and setting it at $250,000.
“You could go lower, too — why not $200,000?” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “With the debt and deficit we have, you can’t make promises to people. This is a very serious situation.”
Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, concurred, saying, “I don’t think there’s any magic in the number, whether it’s $250,000, $200,000 or $225,000.
“The larger question is whether we’ll be able to extend the tax cuts for middle-income folks,” Dorgan said. “The answer, I expect, would be yes, but we don’t quite know how it all fits in the larger picture.”
Usually, a politician needs help from friends to keep a campaign promise. President Obama is getting no help whatsoever in keeping his promise on taxes. His reaction to the statements from Congressional Democrats will be revealing; if the President refuses to take them on, it will be easy for the rest of us to conclude that his tax pledge was empty from the beginning.
Relatedly, is it too much to ask that some enterprising reporters ask about this issue at the next White House press briefing until they get an answer? And the next one after that as well, if necessary?