Donald Lambro

In the Senate, the latest defection is Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a member of the Democratic caucus, who told voters in his state Monday that the Bush tax cuts should be retained until the economy regains its health.

"The more money we leave in private hands, the quicker our economic recovery will be," he told the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.

With so many Democrats abandoning their party's soak-the-rich class warfare, Republicans were further emboldened to push their tax-cutting offensive in the fall campaigns as new data exposes the failure of the $1 trillion Obama spending stimulus to create jobs and expand the economy.

"Americans have had it. They're tired of Democrat leaders in Washington pursuing the same government-driven programs that have done nothing but add to the debt," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor speech Monday.

Introducing legislation "that ensures that no one in this country will pay higher income taxes next year than they are right now," the GOP leader said, "We can't allow this administration to demand that small business owners in this country pay for its own fiscal recklessness."

In the House, Minority Leader John Boehner reiterated his party's opposition to raising taxes at the close of this year, after his remarks Sunday that suggested he might vote to just keep the middle income tax cuts if the Democrats' tax bill offered no other option.

But Boehner was musing about a legislative trap that Democrats could spring on Republicans to make them vote against the middle class. Within an hour of his remarks, he fired off a statement calling on the Democrats to pass legislation that "cuts spending to 2008 levels for the next year and stops all of the coming tax hikes by freezing all current tax rates for the next two years."

"Anything short of that may selfishly check a political box for the president, but it fails the American people," he said.

Among all the toxic issues killing Democrats in this election cycle -- with Obamacare, jaw-dropping deficits and debt, and historic levels in new spending topping the list -- none is more politically deadly than the jobless economic decline and the Democrats' plans to raise taxes in the midst of what is still being called a recession.

With the Federal Reserve declaring that the economy is showing "widespread signs of deceleration," and the president and his party's leaders in deep denial, the Democrats are about see what a tsunami wave election looks like.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.