Skittish Democrats Will Vote on Bush Tax Cuts After the Election

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Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

There's a strong political argument for the Democrats to hold a vote on only extending the expiring Bush tax cuts for couples earning up to $250,000 or individuals earning up to $200,000, a generally popular position among American voters: If Republicans block it because they prefer to renew the tax cuts for all Americans (including the 2 percent who earn more than that), it'll make it look like they don't care about the middle class, and Democrats will have a powerful distinction between the two parties to highlight in the run up to the midterm elections. But because some vulnerable Democrats don't want to be accused of letting taxes go up for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, party leadership has reportedly decided to hold the vote after they get their asses handed to them in the election.

As a reader at Talking Points Memo observes, the GOP can now say that the Democrats have failed to renew tax cuts for anyone. The left isn't happy — over at the New Republic, Jonathan Chait calls it "one of the nuttiest decisions, on pure political grounds, I've ever seen."

Senate Democrats To Delay Action on Expiring Tax Cuts Until After Elections [CQ Politics]
Senate Dems Ready To Shelve Tax Cut Vote [TPM]