Back in May, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi proposed in a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner that the House should vote to raise taxes on household incomes of more than $1 million.
“A million and above,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote. “Who can argue with that?”
Actually, Mrs. Pelosi can. Now that Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, has embraced the proposal in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations with President Obama, Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, and her team are urging their party’s lawmakers to vote against it.
Mrs. Pelosi’s second-in-command, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, said Tuesday that Mr. Boehner’s proposal to raise taxes on income of more than $1 million is a “political ploy.” Mr. Hoyer said the Republicans’ proposal isn’t a serious effort to cut the deficit.
“The math doesn’t work,” Mr. Hoyer told reporters. “I think it’s a political ploy to give his members some opportunity to respond to the public that thinks all the Republicans are doing is protecting the wealthy. We’re going to urge our members to vote ‘no.’ The leader [Mrs. Pelosi] and I both agree, we’re not for this.”
Mr. Hoyer said it was a political ploy when Democrats proposed the same idea seven months ago.
“Very frankly, I think that Leader Pelosi floated that, again, as a political ploy,” Mr. Hoyer said. “I think if you asked her, it was a political ploy. She wanted to show that Republicans wouldn’t even vote for a million [tax increase].”
In negotiations with Mr. Boehner, President Obama has been demanding that taxes be increased for families earning more than $250,000. His latest offer raised that threshold to $400,000.