Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said Tuesday he had concerns about raising income taxes as part of any debt-limit deal, the latest Democrat to complicate President Barack Obama's push to tax the wealthy as part of a major deficit-reduction package.
Sen. Ben Nelson also last week said he would oppose tax increases as part of the deal as well.
Webb left the door open, however, to finding new tax revenues elsewhere, according to a statement released Tuesday morning:
“During my time in the Senate, I have consistently opposed the notion of increasing revenues through raising taxes on ordinary, earned income -- those amounts, whether large or small, that Americans take home as part of their every-day work and their basic compensation packages. As the Congress works to resolve the current impasse on the deficit, I must again emphasize my belief that revenues should be raised by other means, including ending costly subsidies and tax loopholes or by adjusting such measures as capital gains.
But as the Huffington Post reported yesterday, Democrats are not interested in a plan that raises revenue solely through ending subsidies and tax breaks: "The deal fell apart, in part, because Democrats demanded an upfront commitment from Republicans that they would allow the Bush-era tax cuts" to expire.
So forty-seven Republican senators and two Democratic senators are opposed to raising tax rates as part of a debt ceiling deal. If two more Democrats come out against tax hikes, will Obama still insist on a deal opposed by a majority of both houses of Congress?