In a shocking repudiation of President Obama’s “soak the rich” economic plans, Senate Democrats today blocked a vote on President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 per year. Senate Republicans had proposed an immediate vote on the measure. In fact, they proposed two votes: one to extend the Bush tax cuts in their totality, the other to raise taxes as per Obama’s plan. “My recommendation is we give the president what he asked for,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The strategy for McConnell and Republicans is simple: they want to show Americans that even Democrats recognize that the Bush tax cuts ought to be extended for all Americans. And Democrats want to avoid that vote, so they can continue posturing and conducting class warfare.
Senate Democrats, afraid of the toxic Obama plan, refused to bring either measure to a vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid then went on a nonsensical rant about how it was Republicans obstructing President Obama’s tax plan – even though they wanted to vote on it. “The program of the Republicans in the Senate,” said Reid, “has been to divert and deny and obstruct. I asked the presiding officer when we started what are we doing here today? We’re on a small business jobs bill. A pretty simple piece of legislation but extremely important.”
So, according to Senate Democrats, a small business jobs bill – more government spending – takes priority over their own president’s proposal to let Americans keep more of their own money.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) explained, “It’s mind-boggling to me, Senate democratic leadership turned down an opportunity to vote on President Obama’s tax increase bill …it tells us that the president’s tax increase plan is not just an economic disaster, it’s a political loser. And they know it. It tells us in spite of the big talking from the president’s Chicago reelection campaign about evil Republicans who want to extend all of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief, vulnerable members of the Senate’s Democratic conference do not want to be anywhere near the president’s tax increase alternative.”
That’s exactly right. And if Obama can’t get a vote on his plan from his own party, it just shows how out of touch he is with the constituency of his own Senators.