Jul 18, 2012 12:15 AM GMT
Democrats say they'll let all the Bush-era tax cuts expire if they can't raise taxes on the rich. Apparently, economic catastrophe is a reasonable price to pay for class warfare politics.
On Monday, Sen. Patty Murray, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that "unless Republicans end their commitment to protecting the rich above all else, our country is going to have to face the consequences of Republican intransigence."
What she really means is Democratic intransigence.
After all, Republicans have taken the perfectly reasonable position that the last thing you want to do when the economy is barely breathing is raise taxes.
Obama himself once made that argument, at a time when the economy was doing better than it is today. And a few level-headed Senate Democrats agree.
Yet now, faced with a tough re-election and desperate to score political points, Obama says he'll veto any bill that extends all the Bush tax cuts, and Democrats, as evidenced by Murray's comments, are falling in line.
Should Obama make good on this threat, the risks to the economy would be enormous. Tax rates on everyone would climb back to Clinton-era levels, which translates into a tax hike of roughly $150 billion next year alone.
And that, in turn, will cut economic growth by as much as 3% next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and quite possibly plunge the country back into another recession.