Mittelman pressed Brown on the tax cuts for the highest-earning Americans adopted during the first term of President George W. Bush, which are due to expire at the end of 2012. She asked, "If we do nothing, they will expire and by my way of thinking that's not a tax increase. What are your thoughts about that?"
Brown responded by saying that he was waiting on the newly formed joint committee on deficit reduction to come forward with a proposal before making up his mind. That did not satisfy Mittelman.
"I'm asking what you think right now," Mittelman demanded.
"It's very difficult to get into a hypothetical that's not there," Brown replied.
"They're going to expire - can we just let them expire?" Mittelman asked, her voice rising.
"If the commission can make their recommendation and we'll have an up-and-down vote depending on what the rest of the bill includes, we'll see. But you can't just make things up," Brown said.
Afterward, Mittelman said she felt Brown had evaded her question, saying "I don't think it's a hypothetical."
"He just talked about jobs in generalities. I think we need more revenue," she said. "I don't think it's just a tightening of one's belt, tax-cut situation. To solve the deficit we need more revenue and if we let the Bush tax cuts expire we'd have more revenue."More and more members of Congress are getting a united message from Americans that we need them to finally start focusing on job-creating programs, and to fund those programs by making the rich pay their fair share.