Two days after the White House said it would not extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich under any circumstances, multiple Democratic senators refused to rule out the same scenario.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D), both of whom are facing re-election fights this fall, refused to take a position on ending the cuts when asked Thursday, The Hill reports:
“If you want to do something in the spirit of compromise, you don’t start out by saying, ‘I refuse to do this’ or ‘I refuse to do that,’ ” said McCaskill. “It’s not my preference to extend tax cuts to multimillionaires — that’s not my preference — but I want to keep every option open in the spirit of compromise.”
Said Nelson, “I can’t get into a hypothetical.”
According to The Hill, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (D) was also undecided on the issue.
Ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, however, should be an easy decision. Republicans argue that letting the tax cuts expire will hurt job growth, even though evidence shows lower taxes on the rich don’t lead to job creation and GOP lawmakers have willingly admitted that the Bush tax cuts didn’t lead to a spike in jobs.
Republican intransigence on tax revenues nearly pushed the country over the brink of default last summer and caused the first credit downgrade in American history, but ending the Bush tax cuts — which cost $36 billion a year while benefiting just 2 percent of Americans — gives the country a chance to raise revenues now that will reduce the debt and help avoid painful spending cuts to vital programs.