Scorched earth and hardball tactics are not the same. Scorched earth means we take everything, destroy everything, and there’s no compromise:
Senate Republicans blocked two Democratic measures Saturday that would have eliminated the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, forcing both parties back to the negotiating table if they want to avert a tax hike next year for all Americans.
The doomed votes mean Democrats may ultimately need to agree to a deal that runs contrary to their campaign promises over the past 10 years. Rather than eliminating the upper-end tax cuts, Democrats will likely cede to Republican demands to renew all of the Bush tax cuts for several years – a move that many in the party view as a major defeat.
Steve M said it first (Steve’s bolds):
I’ve said a couple of times that Democrats may as well acknowledge that they’ll never repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, under any circumstances, and they may as well just extend them permanently. Now, I guess, it’s time to do whatever’s going to be done:
Now it’s all or nothing on tax cuts
Zandar still believes there’s a chance Democrats will grow a pair:
So the question is what do the Dems do now? They need to follow this up with a tax cut bill of their own. They also need to go on the offensive and say “Look, the Republicans are holding 98% of America hostage to get tax cuts for the richest 2%.” In other words, Dems have to be prepared to hurt Republican feelings here.
The Hill has more specifics:
The first proposal by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) would have extended the cuts only for individuals with incomes of up to $200,000 and families with incomes of up to $250,000. That failed by a vote of 53-36, with all GOP senators in opposition as well as Democrats Russ Feingold (Wis.), Joe Manchin (W.V.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jim Webb (Va.) and Independent Joe Lieberman (Conn.).
The second proposal by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) would have extended the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanently for incomes of up to $1 million, among other provisions such as a one-year extension of unemployment benefits and cuts in capital gains, estate and dividend taxes. That failed, 53-37, with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) joining the ‘no’ votes.
Manchin said he opposed the first measure to allow time for a compromise on the second, which he supported.
“While I have said repeatedly I prefer all the tax cuts be extended, I was open to a common sense compromise that would extend the cuts to those who make up to $1 million – or 99.9 percent of West Virginians,” he said. “Unfortunately, that did not happen.”