Let it be noted that the first “hostage taker” reference in this year’s debate over extending the current income-tax rates should be applied to Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, who made clear in a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution that she and other Democrats will make the middle class pay if they can’t raise taxes on “the rich.”
Murray is the fifth-ranking Senate Democrat, so I take her remarks seriously.
Here are the first two “key excerpts” from the speech as listed on a press release from Murray’s office (these and the entire speech are available here):
… if Republicans won’t work with us on a balanced approach, we are not going to get a deal. Because I feel very strongly that we simply cannot allow middle class families and the most vulnerable Americans to bear this burden alone.
So if we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle class families under the bus. And I think my party, and the American people, will support that.
Got that? Murray and her party don’t want the middle class to get thrown under the bus alone, but they are perfectly willing to throw the middle class under the bus so long as “the wealthy” are down there, too. That, in their view, is better than the status quo.
Before sticking to that position, Murray might want to brush up on recent evidence about what the American people will support (note in particular the breakdowns for groups such as 18-to-29-year-olds, Latinos and those earning less than $50,000 a year).
– By Kyle Wingfield