Democratic Senator says he would vote to extend Bush tax cuts for wealthy under certain circumstances

Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin said that under certain circumstances, he would support a bill that extends the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000, a possibility that members of the Party’s leadership have largely ruled out.

“If it ends up in some tax bill that there’s a lot of other provisions in it I might have no alternative,” Levin told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday. “But in terms of a straight up down vote for it, I’d vote against it.”

Levin made it clear that he opposes extending the tax cuts for the wealthy on principle.

All of the tax cuts, which former President George W. Bush put into place in 2001 and 2003, are set to expire at the end of this year unless Congress votes to extend them. Democratic leaders have said they support only extending tax cuts for households that earn up to $250,000 per year. Four Senate Democrats and one independent have indicated that they support extending the tax cuts for Americans that earn more, and three other Senators have suggested that they are open to the possibility in a compromise proposal.

While it is doubtful that the Democratic leadership sees Levin as a risk, the debate over the tax cuts has become so hot on Capitol Hill that any suggestion that a member is open to supporting a plan that strays from the Party line can cause a firestorm. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner was blasted last week after he announced on CBS “Face the Nation” that he would vote for only extending the tax cuts to the middle class if it were the only option.

House and Senate Democratic leadership have not made it clear when they will call for a vote on the issue, although there has been talk that they will try to put it to a vote before the November midterm elections.

Email Chris Moody and follow him on Twitter

  • emem

    Lazy Levin must have a fundraising dinner, organized by his Michigan DNC wife, in very wealthy Bloomfield Hills.

    He’s a slug and his candidacy is a family business.

  • Rachel Maddow


    I’ll sick Keith on you! You’ll be the Worse Person of the Week this week for sure!!!!

  • nomore

    Let’s cut through the convoluted political jargon. The Bush tax cuts were cuts when they were enacted, nearly 10 years ago. So what we’re really talking about but the cowards in DC are not, is increasing taxes for the so-called “wealthy”. Ever heard the saying, “it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”? The result of increasing taxes on the wealthy will result in them keeping what little they will have left.

  • recovered dem

    Levin is helping Reid hold our soldiers hostage with the defense bill to which Reid attached the Dream Act. Those two disgusting corrupt politicians need to be kicked out! The Democrats are anti-American social scum.

  • voted against carter

    This is MY congressman. I WOULD call him my congrASSman. But that would be disrespectful. I have been trying to get this doofus tossed out of office for ever. This guy wants every city to be like Detroit. A dead city. If you want to know what Obama has in store for AMerica, LOOK at what the democrat party has done to Detroit for the answer. Just say’n



    • Martaan66

      Unfortunately this doofus is also my senator. We can’t get rid of him or Deb Stab me now soon enough. They are strictly for the party and not the country. If you email them you just get some form letter that isn’t even a response to your enquiry. They are out of touch with the ordinary American. Frankly I don’t think they give a crap about what we think. These “progressives” have to go.

  • JoeJ

    Oh thank you, thank you, Sen Levin – you are saving us all – more money for the rich is the one and only true answer to our problems!

    All those unemployed people in your state will be saved by your magnanimous unselfish gesture to your cousins on Wall Street — thank you again!

    • grayzel

      ” more money for the rich is the one and only true answer to our problems!” Joe

      If I understand you, you think leaving the tax rate the same for the middle class is a tax cut and they will be paying lower taxes at the same rate but if you leave the tax rate the same for those that make over $250,000.00 a year they will get to keep more of their own money than they did last year? Only a Democrat could use such muddled circular logic and think they are making a point.

  • adamincalifornia

    Just as the Right has its mindless moralists, the Left does too.

    Carl Levin is a simple yet perfect example.

    He opposes “Tax cuts for the wealthy on principle.” That is a pretty stupid principle, Carl. If you outlaw wealth creation, you won’t have wealth creation. Since the wealthy pay the vast majority of the tax bill in this country, getting rid of the wealthy may not be a good idea.

    Just remember: Moralists on the Right don’t want you touching your private parts. Moralists on the Left don’t want you touching your private property.

    • krjohnson

      “That is a pretty stupid principle, Carl.”

      Well, what can you say. He’s not a very bright man.

  • flips

    Let’s have a vote on Obama’s Middle Class tax cuts. Time to get everyone on record, before the election.

    • ojfl


      let us have a vote on all taxes and get them on record.

    • adamincalifornia

      Obama’s Middle Class tax cuts?

      By that do you mean the Obama co-opting of yet another Bush initiative and claiming it as his own after having warned voters that a voter ofr McCain-Palin would lead to “a continuation of Bush policies”.

      You remember that, don’t you? Things like Gitmo (still housing detainees); warrant-less wiretaps (still doin’ those); Military Tribunals and Civilian Trials for terrorists (still doing those too); TARP; Stimulus programs; expansion of the Federal Government; Defecits; Iraq and Afghanistan …

      Oh – but the “tax cuts” are different. Because when Bush initiated these tax cuts, a vast number of people across the board saw their tax bill go down, whereas Obama is proposing a “cut” in which most people’s tax bill simply stays the same (excepting those many who have simply lost jobs – they don’t have income to tax) while those above $250K goes up quite a bit, with a few punitive extras thrown on top.

      Are you talking about that “tax cut?” That “Obama” tax cut?

      • Martaan66

        Someone needs to tell Oblowme that it isn’t his money. I realize that isn’t his perception.

      • bigsigh

        You are right on the money…again.

    • grayzel

      If I charge you $30.00 to mow your yard for 10 years and then decide to charge you $30.00 to mow your lawn the 11th year I am giving you a reduced rate?