Senate Dems will propose millionaire tax, but it’s just a negotiating tactic (and they’re admitting it publicly)

Democrats in the Senate are trying to get savvier about negotiating with Republicans (who don’t negotiate). Via The Hill:

Senate Democrats are using their proposal to raise taxes on millionaires as a stalking-horse to force Republicans to accept other tax increases.

Democratic officials privately acknowledge that raising personal income tax rates on the wealthy has little chance of passing this Congress. However, the politically popular idea is a key part of the Democrats’ strategy to attack the deficit and gain concessions from Republicans.

Okay. Not a bad strategy. But, here’s the thing. If the millionaire tax is just a negotiating ploy (and it should be a line in the sand), don’t tip your hand in advance:

But Democrats say both positions are primarily intended to bolster the party’s negotiating leverage with Republicans. They see the proposed surtax on millionaires as more of a rhetorical weapon than a proposal likely to be included in any broad bipartisan compromise.

“I don’t think it’s realistic that would ever pass; I think we’re trying to find a negotiating point,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said of a budget proposal with an even ratio of spending cuts to tax increases and a surtax on millionaires.

Got that. Senator McCaskill just gave away the strategy. The Democrats are really just trying to find a “negotiating point.” This is a step up from negotiating with themselves, which is usually what Democrats do. But, don’t broadcast the strategy — and don’t expect to find a “negotiating point” with the hostage takers.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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