There is a battle being drafted and defined in the Democratic Party which I think has legs. Given the economy, and the way people view Wall Street and banks this battle will gain momentum as we head into the presidential election.
At the heart of the battle is who should help pay for the fiscal problems this nation finds itself. Should budget cuts that impact programs and services for the lower economic classes be the only way to correct the economic woes, or should the wealthy also pay their fair share of the burden?
“If we’re able to draw a very clear line — people above a million dollars should pay their fair share — it’s much easier to win that argument,” said Schumer, who is also in charge of political messaging for Democrats hoping to maintain control of the Senate. “And I think we’re winning it. For the first time since Ronald Reagan, we’re beginning to turn the tax debate around.”
Still, polls show Democrats may be on to something. In a new Washington Post/ABC News survey, 75 percent of those polled said they support raising taxes on millionaires, including 57 percent of Republicans.
“If we can affect the tax debate by drawing this line, we make it easier to get a grand compromise on deficit reduction,” Schumer said, because Republicans’ opposition to tax hikes of any kind “will no longer be the political high ground.”
House Democrats, meanwhile, are reassessing their position on who is most deserving of higher taxes.
Rep. Sander M. Levin (Mich.), the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said ending the Bush tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000, as Obama pledged to do during the 2008 campaign, would generate about $39 billion a year. But the vast majority of that money — 79 percent, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation — would come from the 315,000 households that earn more than $1 million a year, the richest 0.2 percent of taxpayers.