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Tax Rates, Past and Future

By Alec MacGillis
LOS ANGELES -- One of Democrats' concerns about Barack Obama early on in this campaign was whether, with all his talk of post-partisan reconciliation, he would be able to be forceful enough in carrying the party's banner into battle next summer and fall.

In recent months, Obama has sharpened his partisan rhetoric, decrying the era of "Scooter Libby justice, Brownie incompetence and Karl Rove politics." And tonight he tried to show that he would be able to handle an attack from Republicans over his plan to raise taxes on the rich, starting his debate answer by joking, to laughs from the audience, that the Republicans would not be in a position to lecture on fiscal responsibility after running up the federal deficit this decade.

A moment later, Hillary Clinton came back with a nice line of her own in defense of her proposal to raise tax rates on the wealthy to where they were in the 1990s.

"My memory was that people did really well in that period," she said with a smile, "and they'll keep doing really well."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 31, 2008; 8:52 PM ET
Categories:  The Debates  
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