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Douglas Holtz-Eakin Burns His Credibility

Douglas Holtz-Eakin gained a lot of credibility working to stop the budget insanity first inside the Bush White House and then as Director of the Congressional Budget Office. He is now burning that credibility very rapidly:

McCain camp hits Obama on taxes - First Read - msnbc.com: The McCain campaign also sent out a memo.... "This year, Barack Obama returned to the United States Senate twice to vote in favor of a budget resolution which raises income tax rates by three percentage points for the 25, 28 and 33 percent tax brackets," Holtz-Eakin writes in the memo. "This would mean a tax increase for those earning as little as $32,000. While Barack Obama campaigns on a promise of no tax hikes for anyone but the rich, we once again find that his words are empty when it comes time to act.  In both March and June, Barack Obama could have put the force of his vote behind his words. Instead, he decided that 'rich' now means those making just $32,000 per year."

But NBC’s Ken Strickland spoke with a Democratic aide at the Senate Budget Committee who said there was never a budget vote that said: Let's raise taxes. What the budget vote did do was estimate how much additional revenue would be needed, and then it would go to the Finance Committee to determine how to raise that amount (raise taxes, close loopholes, etc).   The aide thinks what the McCain campaign has seized on is this revenue growth -- and has taken one of the possible ways to get there: by raising taxes among all income groups. But the budget vote never called for raising taxes, the aide said.

On the call, Holtz-Eakin said, “Sen. Obama can say what he wants this week… but this is about his record. It reveals what his true values are” -- that he voted for something that would raise taxes on low-income voters, Holtz-Eakin claimed...

This is, I think, a bad mistake for Doug Holtz-Eakin. If McCain wins in November, Holtz-Eakin will need credibility with Democratic as well as Republican senators. And if McCain doesn't win in November, Holtz-Eakin will need credibility with Democratic as well as Republican economists.