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Are Democrats Blurring the Line on High-End Tax Cuts? Are Democrats Blurring the Line on High-End Tax Cuts?

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Are Democrats Blurring the Line on High-End Tax Cuts?

When it comes to extending the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, Democrats drew a line in the sand long ago--let the cuts expire on households with income above $250,000. But, lately, rhetoric from some prominent players has blurred the line.

During last week's debate, Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly spoke of households with income over $1 million as those who would see their tax bills go up. And, on Tuesday, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., the ranking vice chair of the House Budget Committee, suggested his comments may signal some flexibility.

"It was interesting to hear him talk about that, which I think shows there's a little room for discussion here," Schwartz said at a National Journal event on the nation's fiscal problems on Tuesday morning. But, she added, "we've mostly been using the $250,000 threshold for family income."

Two years ago, Schwartz said, she had proposed a $500,000 threshold. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has proposed a $1 million threshold, but said earlier this month that he had moved into line with the White House threshold of $250,000.

If not misstatements, the comments from Biden and Schwartz raise questions about whether  Democrats are fully unified over $250,000 as the place to draw the line on taxes in the post-election negotiations over the nation's looming fiscal problems.

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