Soon the Republicans may be able to claim the first nonwhite Speaker of the House.
President Obama’s long-stated view is that his predecessor’s tax cuts for the middle class should be extended while his tax cuts for high earners should be allowed to lapse. Notwithstanding Obama’s huge majorities in Congress, he has done, literally, nothing to extend the middle-class tax cuts, and as a result we are now a few months away from a major tax increase on nearly everyone who pays income taxes. Naturally the Democrats’ new tactic is to accuse the Republicans of holding up middle-class tax relief in order to get upper-income tax cuts. The tactic has not worked: More and more Democrats are calling for an extension of all the tax cuts. Even a fumble by House Republican leader John Boehner, who said on Face the Nation that he would vote for extending the middle-class tax cuts alone if he had no other choice, does not seem to have changed the dynamic. (Boehner has since reiterated that he favors extending all the tax cuts.) If middle-class taxes go up, the public is going to blame liberals — and an increasing number of Democrats grasp this point even if not all Republicans do.