The Campaign Spot

Are We Really To Believe That a President Obama Would Hold the Line on Taxes?

In the Democratic primaries, Obama indicated he wanted to raise the tax on capital gains  from the current 15 percent to 28 percent, nearly doubling it.

Once in the general election, Obama changed his mind, and said that he would only raise it from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Then he further revised it and suggested he would have a two-tiered system, where if you make less than $250,000 per year, you pay 15 percent, and if you make more, you pay 20 percent. It’s a key part of his closing argument.

The reasonable fear that many Obama skeptics have is that with a heavily Democratic Congress — you know, with the Barney “I think there are some very rich people out there we can tax” Franks of the world calling the shots — whatever instincts for moderation are thrown out the window. A President McCain, for whatever flaws he has, would hold the line — on this, on cutting defense spending 25 percent (another Frank proposal), on eliminating the tax benefits on 401(k)s.

Elect Obama, and the only thing that can stop these very bad ideas is the new president’s willingness to risk a bloody, knock-down fight with his own party, precisely the kind of fight he has never fought in his career. Maybe Obama’s a guy with the stomach to veto legislation that a majority of his party has backed and that is backed every interest group on his side of the aisle. If he does, you’ll hear some unexpected applause from this corner. But talk about an unlikely scenario…

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