President Obama has been absolutely clear that he wants to see the Bush tax cuts for the top two income brackets expire. So who better to lead the charge in the Senate to see all the Bush tax cuts extended than Joe Lieberman (I-CT).
“I know that many people, including the President, have argued that the tax cuts should not be continued for people making more than $200,000 a year,” Lieberman told the Stamford Chamber of Commerce today. “But to me these are the people we need to be using their income to spend and invest to spur growth and job creation.”
Thus, he adds, “I have had promising discussions over the past several days with colleagues from both sides of the aisle who see a bipartisan path forward on a permanent extension of the middle-class tax cuts and a temporary extension of the tax cuts for the highest income brackets to make sure that nobody’s taxes go up while the economy is still struggling to recover.”
The statement comes just as Democratic leaders coalesce around a legislative game plan to pass Obama’s proposal.
Now, this doesn’t represent a change of position for Lieberman. He’s been arguing that the top-bracket tax rates should be extended for another two years since the debate heated up. And, for that matter, he’s also insisted that he won’t stand in the way by joining a GOP filibuster if Harry Reid tries to extend the tax rates for the lower brackets alone.
But it looks like he wasn’t kidding when “[I’ll do] everything I can to make sure Congress extends the so-called Bush tax cuts for another year and takes action to prevent the estate tax from rising back to where it was.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.