Chuck Schumer
Sen. Chuck Schumer (Jason Reed/Reuters)
The Occupy movement scores again. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the guy in charge of communications strategy for the Senate Democrats, wants to have an income inequality debate by fighting over ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy before the November election.
Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Senate Democrat and architect of his party’s communications strategy, says he doesn’t want to wait until the end of the year to debate Republicans over ending the break for high-earning taxpayers. The issue is part of the Democratic campaign theme of promoting tax fairness, he said. [...]

Democrats say they have gained the upper hand on the tax debate since 2010. The issue may bolster Democrats’ effort to gain control of the House in November, said Representative Steve Israel of New York, chairman of House Democrats’ campaign committee.

“The landscape has completely shifted,” Israel said in a March 1 interview. “Every time Republicans are defending tax cuts for millionaires and blocking tax cuts for the middle class, we win.

Republicans, of course, say that the Democrats are "over-reaching," and that they'll be able to turn this around by saying Democrats want to hurt small businesses. Given that that message hasn't really had much sway with the public, which both understands and supports tax fairness, Democrats shouldn't be too worried about that, and need to keep pressing.

Senate Democrats expect to hold votes starting within a few months, using repeated votes over the remainder of the year to keep the issue alive, and keep pressure on the GOP. With the House in GOP hands, the likelihood that the House would also take up a vote on the Bush tax cuts is nil. But it will keep the pressure on, and force Republicans into defending the 1 percent, again and again.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:00 PM PST.

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