Both Hillbamas want to extend the tax cuts for the middle-class but not for "the wealthy."
Here's my challenge to Hillbama: Both of them are clearly part of "the wealthy," and pay federal income taxes at the highest current marginal income tax rate of 35%. Obama's income in 2007 was about $1 million, and just one or two speeches by Bill Clinton at $200,000 puts the Clinton household income into the top tax bracket (in 2006, Clinton earned $10 million in speaking fees).
If they want to end the tax cuts for "the wealthy," they don't have to wait for the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of 2010, they can voluntarily pay taxes right now at the old 1999 rates under Clinton. In other words, if the highest marginal rate of 35% is too low for the wealthy Hillbamas, they could make a strong, personal statement right now by voluntarily paying their 2007 taxes at the old highest marginal rate of 39.6%. In fact, Hillbama, Warren Buffet and anybody else opposed to the Bush tax cuts, can voluntarily pay taxes this year under the 1999 Clinton tax rates, instead of the current tax rates (see chart below, click to enlarge). If higher taxes on the wealthy in the future are good, shouldn't they also be good right now?
back to 1913 here. If 39.6% from 1999 is too low, Buffet et al. could file under the 1960s highest marginal tax rate of 91%, the 1970 tax rate of 70%, or the 1980s tax rate of 50%.