Friday, October 7, 2011

Schumer Takes Reins Of Tax Policy Debate

WASHINGTON -- By choosing to adopt a millionaires tax hike as a means to cover the cost of the president's jobs bill, Democratic leadership has closed out what was once a relatively heated internal party dispute over how to wage the tax policy debate. And for the time being, the victor appears to be Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the messaging maestro of the party who has become increasingly relied upon to chart policy.

"Since Ronald Reagan, when it comes to the issue of taxes, Democrats have had to travel uphill. Because no matter how fair our tax proposals, Republicans say, 'You are raising taxes, we're not.' And they win," the New York Democrat said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Thursday. "Now we have seen the ability to finally replace that with the clear and crisp message: We are for having millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share and the Republicans are not. And the polling data is strongly on our side. We can win this fight if we can make it."

"There is now broad acceptance by both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and by the public for this," he added. "If Republicans had a potential advantage like this, they would hit it home day in and day out at every opportunity. And I hope we would be more like them, at least in only that regard ... We have the potential to turn the tax debate around."

Back in December 2010, Schumer first pushed colleagues to abandon the idea of allowing the Bush tax cuts for families making over $250,000 a year to expire. That level of income, he argued, represented an idea of wealth to the vast majority of the country. But most voters were also convinced that they were on the precipice of striking it big, and the prospect of a having to pay a higher tax rate once they achieved that income was a bit off-putting.

Full Post

No comments: