'Why Democrats can't win on taxes'

Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has a great piece in which she makes a good case that the Democrats are foolish to try and take on the GOP with regard to tax issues:

There comes a point in Washington debates when the losing side has little left but bluff, and here's a good example. What Democrats know, but won't say, is that the party has walked itself into a lose-lose-lose tax fight. Their choices now range from bad to worse to problematic.

They are in this fix because the tax debate they are having is not the tax debate they had planned. By now, the $800 billion "stimulus" was supposed to have the economy roaring back and unemployment well below 8%. The administration was supposed to be resting on its legislative laurels, the public showing growing appreciation for its agenda. The economy and polls firmly in hand, President Obama would then pivot to the deficit to argue that it was now responsible for a once-again-prosperous nation to pay its bills by letting some tax cuts expire.

The majority stuck to this vision despite all evidence it was imploding. At any point Democrats could have pre-emptively embraced the tax question, perhaps intelligently enough to help the economy, and take credit. They didn't. Tax hikes looming, they must now confront this debate on the back of 9.6% employment, a teetering economy, an unpopular agenda, an angry business community, and an emboldened GOP.

Strassel points out that the Dems have three choices on taxes:

1. Vote on Obama's plan which raises taxes on millions of Americans.

2. Kick the tax issue down the road after the election; or

3. Allow members to vote with the GOP to keep the Bush cuts intact.

Any way they jump, they go over a cliff.

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