President Obama’s Obama legislative affairs director and former budget aide Rob Nabors, chastised Senate Democrats who didn’t want to agree to any cuts in order to close the deficit, saying that taxes on millionaires would never raise enough to avoid spending cuts.
The conversation, reported in Bob Woodward’s new book on the debt ceiling negotiations The Price Of Politics, features an angry Democratic caucus wanting to just raise taxes without cutting programs close to their hearts.
A band of angry Democratic senators, including former and likely future presidential candidates, cross-examined them on what kind of deal the president was trying to cut. Where was the revenue guarantee? Democrats had a winning hand, the public was with them on higher taxes on the rich. Why do we have to cut any Medicare? Don’t cut anything. You are playing on Republican turf. Talk of big spending cuts was weak and played into Republican hands. This whole debate should be about revenue. Stare them down. Why were Senate Democrats cut out of the process? Force the Republicans to raise taxes on millionaires.
“You could raise all the taxes you want on millionaires,’ Nabors made the mistake of saying, and it would never raise enough.