Senate Democrats are planning to drop their demand for a surtax on millionaires to pay for the payroll tax extension, but the truth is that a group of Senate Dems refuse to increase taxes on the rich.
CNN is reporting that, “In what would be a major concession, President Obama and Senate Democrats will drop their insistence that a surtax on millionaires pay for extending the payroll tax cut, a Democratic source tells CNN. This would be part of a new Democratic offer.”
Reuters is contradicting CNN and reporting that Democrats are only thinking over the possibility of dropping the surtax, “Obama discussed the possibility of abandoning the millionaire tax, which Republicans strongly oppose, at a White House meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other top Senate Democrats, a senior Senate Democratic aide told Reuters. ‘It remains to be seen if we will drop it,” the aide said. “But we want to strike a deal and get this done.’
Actually it wouldn’t be a major concession, and here’s why. Democrats never had the votes to pass the millionaire surtax in the Senate. Democrats can’t even get their own caucus to agree to raise taxes on the rich.
The Democrats problem is the same as it was the last time this issue came up in September when Sen. Dick Durbin told a Chicago radio station, “The oil-producing state senators don’t like eliminating or reducing the subsidy for oil companies. There are some senators who are up for election who say I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people. So, we’re not gonna have 100% Democratic senators. That’s why it needs to be bi-partisan and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen.”
There are a group of Senate Democrats who are up for reelection who absolutely will not, under any circumstances raise taxes on the rich. The three who are up for reelection — Democrats who will definitely not support taxing millionaires– are Casey (PA), Manchin (WV), and Nelson (NE). Sen. Jon Tester (MT) had announced that he would vote against both the Republican and Democratic bills.
These defections along with Lieberman leave the Democrats at 14 votes short of the 60 required to overcome a filibuster.
Before the left screams Obama lies and Obama sold us out again, they should take a look at the Democratic caucus in the Senate and realize who is really selling out their interests.