Top income tax rates likely to rise in 2010, probably not for the last time

Income tax increases are in the air. Unless something unforeseen surfaces on the economic or political landscape, it looks like the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party-led Congress will move forward with a plan to increase the two top federal income tax brackets to 39.6 percent and 36 percent for tax year 2010, as part of the administration's plan to cut the budget deficit.

Look for all House and most Senate Republicans to vote against the measure, except the handful of GOP Senators up for re-election in 2010 who face strong competition from a Democratic challenger.

Still, with the aforementioned increases likely, one unresolved question remains: Should Democrats push to increase the top two rates even more, and or add another top bracket, for, say, incomes over $300,000?