Over at Intrade, you can bet on future tax rates. Currently, the implied probability of a hike in the top income tax rate in 2009 is about two-thirds.
This surprises me. Even assuming an Obama victory, I would put the probability much lower. As an economic matter, raising anyone’s taxes with the economy so weak seems ill-advised. As a political matter, why not just let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010? Obama could then claim in four years that he never signed a tax hike. It seems neither economically nor politically sensible for the new President to push for an immediate tax increase, even if an eventual tax increase is his goal.
That’s not the way Obama is sounding, but who knows what’ll happen if he’s elected?