Hostage politics: give Democrats their tax increases, or Middle America gets it

The Washington Post tells us that ???Democrats are making increasingly explicit threats about their willingness to let nearly $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts take effect in January unless Republicans drop their opposition to higher taxes for the nation???s wealthiest households.???

And get a load of the headline chosen for this report: ???Democrats threaten to go over ???fiscal cliff??? if GOP fails to raise taxes.???  That???s pretty tough talk coming from the Washington Post, where Democrats are concerned.

It???s a very straightforward story: Democrats are happy to let Taxmageddon slam into Barack Obama???s weak economy, most likely precipitating a new recession, if they don???t get their tax increases.  Senator Patty Murray of Washington laid out their political strategy, explicitly conducted at the expense of the U.S. economy: ???If middle-class families start seeing more money coming out of their paychecks next year, are Republicans really going to stand up and fight for new tax cuts for the rich?  Are they going to continue opposing the Democrats??? middle-class tax cut once the slate has been wiped clean?  I think they know this would be an untenable political position.???

A few million more unemployed Americans, coupled with a big surge in middle-class tax bills, is a small price to pay for Democrats to put their opponents into an ???untenable political position,??? wouldn???t you say?  It???s funny how these-self described champions of the little guy are so comfortable with using them as pawns.  Married couples with children will be among those hardest-hit by Taxmageddon.  The people Democrats are so eager to tax are the very same small business job creators that middle-class people rely upon for employment.

This is a blatant example of legislative hostage-taking, with tax-hungry Democrats holding a gun to the same ???working families??? they always claim to love and protect.  If the case for tax increases on the Evil Rich is so strong, why do people like Patty Murray think it can only be made in combination with dire threats to our general welfare?  Why not avert Taxmageddon now ??? restoring some much-needed confidence to a terrified business sector ??? and then run for office in 2012 on a promise to jack up taxes for everyone making $200,000 a year, or whatever figure Democrat Party dogma says makes a ???millionaire??? these days?

Very obviously, these Democrats don???t think they???re sitting on a winning issue, for which they can build support through reasonable persuasion.  They know their demands will only be met if they have a fiscal bomb ticking in the background.