The President yesterday reminded Americans, for at least the 25th time this year, that he supports tax hikes on American small businesses next year. His position isn’t exactly new, but that doesn’t mean other Washington Democrats aren’t squirming. Leading Democrats like Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Kent Conrad, and Chuck Schumer, have all raised concerns with the idea of hiking taxes that would hit 940,000 American small businesses and impact 53% of all small business income. At yesterday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney stated the obvious: “I recognize that there are different positions -- that people have different positions on this.” Indeed:

  • “Obama’s proposal for a one-year tax cut extension, limited to those making less than $250,000 a year, would put him at odds with some in his own party — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former President Bill Clinton” (ABC News, 7/9/12)
  • “The president's pitch may face opposition not only from Republicans, but also some congressional Democrats.” (Associated Press, 7/9/12)
  • “Aside from the Republican reaction, Obama's move holds political pitfalls among his fellow Democrats, who are divided about how to address the issue.” (Reuters, 7/9/12)
  • “The president’s proposal could also put him at odds with Democratic leaders like Representative Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York.” (The New York Times, 7/9/12)
  • “Obama’s strategy also could conflict with some Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill.” (The Washington Post, 7/9/12)
  • “By drawing the line for tax increases at $250,000 for married couples and $200,000 for individuals, Obama sets up potential contrasts with two factions of senators in his party.” (Bloomberg, 7/9/12)
  • “Democrats including Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California have said they should be extended for families earning up to $1 million a year.” (The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/12)
  • “But even leading Congressional Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have diverged from what the president is now proposing.” (POLITICO, 7/9/12)
  • “Democrats want to allow the cut to expire on the nation's highest earners. What Obama and congressional Democrats have yet to agree on, however, is how to define that category.” (The Hill, 7/9/12)
  • “[T]his type of talk also serves as reminder about the deep divisions within the Democratic Party.” (National Journal, 7/9/12)

The President’s been on a quixotic quest for these tax increases for years. But with every attempt, he runs into stiffer and stiffer resistance – not just from Republicans, who know tax hikes only hurt job creation, but increasingly from his Democratic allies as well. Arm-twisting efforts to find “party unity” can’t mask the obvious discomfort Democrats have about the President’s tax hike plan. Later this month, the House will vote to boost economic growth and create jobs by preventing the looming, massive tax hikes – for all taxpayers – and providing a fairer, simpler tax code that lowers rates and closes special interest loopholes. Rather than adding to the burden that small businesses already shoulder, the President and these Democrats should work with Republicans to stop this tax hike and advance the pro-growth jobs bills that continue to be moved through the House.