House Democrats: You Know What Seems Like a Good Idea? Extending George Bush's Tax Cuts

It’s amazing how much the world can change with just one race:

Some Capitol Hill Democrats want President Barack Obama to extend tax cuts for wealthy?Americans now scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, arguing that a tax increase could hinder economic?recovery.

“I think there is a certain logic to leaving well-enough alone for now, given the fragility of the economic recovery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.). ” It’s a question of prudent judgment and timing.”

White House officials are preparing to unveil their 10-year budget plan on Feb. 2, which will include a decision on what to do about the pending expiration of tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush.

Asked in recent days about the tax cuts for the wealthy, administration officials have insisted that Obama won’t propose extending the tax cuts for the wealthy.

“That’s not something we have contemplated, and I don’t think that’s a necessary act,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in an interview with CNBC last week…

Rep. Harry Mitchell (D., Ariz.), a second-term congressman who held on to his seat in 2008 with 53% of the vote, wrote Obama last week asking him to extend the lower capital gains and dividend rate, and estate tax rates.

“Given the unique economic difficulties we face as a nation, this is the wrong time to raise these taxes. We need to retain these tax cuts that encourage investment that stimulates growth and job creation,” Mitchell wrote.

You will note that both Mitchell and Connolly qualify for Charlie Cook’s list of races to watch this year. Mitchell is in particular trouble this year, having barely prevailed in the strongest Democrat year in decades. Connolly is seen as more of a favorite, but with Bob McDonnell’s strong showing in his district, and two credible Republican challengers, Connolly has to watch his back, too.

Both are desperately and belatedly trying to change their images as liberal lap dogs. Each has voted the party line on a host of key votes. Both voted for the porkulus and for the health care rationing bill. Both voted in support of taxpayer-funded abortions. Both have voted consistently with their party leadership – Connolly a stunning 98% of the time.

Now that Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts reveals the handwriting on the wall, both are trying to change their image. Had they actually shown a belief in fiscal restraint earlier in the year, they might have some credibility right now. Furthermore, they might have actually contributed to building an agenda that did not center on higher spending and the job-destroying higher taxes that inevitably accompany it.

This is too little, too late. And what’s more, it seems the White House is set to ignore them. That’s unlikely to impress the voters this Fall.