You might expect a senator who has announced his retirement, such Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia, to get more aggressive about taking on the opposing party, as he doesn’t have to worry about re-election. But Webb is going after his own party, Politico
He opposes President Barack Obama’s jobs plan because a tax on millionaires would finance it, and he says he’s not sure whether he will campaign for Obama in Virginia, a key swing state, next year.
Instead of an income tax increase for the wealthy, Webb wants to see the capital gains tax rise to 20 percent from 15 percent currently. It’s through the capital gains tax that the wealthy really make out over the middle class, Webb says.
“That’s what Warren Buffett has been saying. I think he’s been kind of misquoted even in some of the administration proposals,” Webb told Politico. “And I don’t see a proposal from the administration to bump that back up to 20 [percent] . . . When they do that, I’ll know they’re serious.”
Webb is upset with Senate Democratic leaders for bringing up parts of the president’s jobs plan, even though they know the proposals will flop.
“I think people in this country are really worried about the future — they are looking for people who will stick up for them,” Webb said. He calls the Democratic Senate leadership’s strategy political “messaging.”
Webb is emblematic of moderates in both parties who have been pushed to the side in the run-up to next year’s elections.
“I think like all of us, he’s distressed by the fact that you have trouble getting something done,” conservative Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., told Politico. “But extreme partisanship is not what he or I would prefer.”
Webb made the same point himself on the Senate floor Tuesday, after his long campaign to form a bipartisan committee to recommend criminal justice reforms was stymied by a GOP-led filibuster. “It is impossible not to notice, over the past two years, the lamentable decline in bipartisan behavior in this body, even in addressing serious issues of actual governance,” he said.
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