Monday, July 11, 2011

Barack Obama and Debt Ceiling Talks - #3064 - Taxes Upon Taxes Upon..... Wall Street Journal (2) GOP Again Rejects $4 Trillion Deal for Reducing Debt - The Blaze (3) Spin Meter: Obama Dems Skirt Issue on Tax Hikes - Boston.com

So the fondest Washington hopes for a grand debt-limit deal have broken down over taxes. House Speaker John Boehner said late Saturday that he couldn't move ahead with a $4 trillion deal because President Obama was insisting on a $1 trillion tax increase, and the White House quickly denounced House Republicans for scuttling debt reduction and preventing "the very wealthiest and special interests from paying their fair share." How dare Republicans not agree to break their campaign promises and raise taxes when the jobless rate is 9.2% and President Obama's economic recovery is in jeopardy? We think Mr. Boehner is making the sensible choice. No one wants to reform the tax code more than we do, but passing a $1 trillion tax increase first on the promise of tax reform later is a political trap. If the President were really sincere about reform and a willingness to keep the top tax rate at or below 35%, he'd negotiate that at the same time he does a debt deal. Mr. Boehner will have a hard enough time getting any debt-limit increase through the House, much less one that raises tax rates.  Keep in mind that Mr. Obama has already signed the largest tax increase since 1993. While everyone focuses on the Bush tax rates that expire after 2012, other tax increases are already set to hit the economy thanks to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. As a refresher, here's a non-exhaustive list of ObamaCare's tax increases: •Starting in 2013, the bill adds an additional 0.9% to the 2.9% Medicare tax for singles who earn more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.  Read more.......

GOP Again Rejects $4 Trillion Deal for Reducing Debt - The Blaze -  President Barack Obama and congressional leaders remained divided in a 75-minute meeting Sunday over the size and the components of a plan to reduce long term deficits. Noting the need to work out an agreement over the next 10 days, the president and lawmakers agreed to meet again to discuss the debt-limit Monday. ABC News:  “President Obama told congressional leaders tonight that he is prepared to make the tough decisions on entitlement spending to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling and cutting the deficit, a Democrat familiar with the negotiating process told ABC News.  But if Republicans are not willing to do the same regarding taxes, the president asked them during a meeting at the White House, what is their alternative?  Obama has scheduled a news conference for Monday morning, his second one in less than two weeks devoted primarily to the debt talks, as he looks to use the power of his office to sway public opinion.  Officials familiar with the meeting said Obama pressed the eight House and Senate leaders Sunday evening to continue aiming for a massive $4 trillion deal for reducing the debt. However Republicans appeared to be disinterested for such an ambitious plan and the political price it would require to pass in Congress. Instead, House Speaker John Boehner told the group that a smaller package of about $2 trillion to $2.4 trillion was more realistic.  Read more.......

Spin Meter: Obama,  Dems Skirt Issue on Tax Hikes - Boston.com -  Call it eliminating an unfair break, or removing an unjust loophole, or even "taking a balanced approach." Just don't call it raising taxes. As they work toward a must-do deal with Republicans on paring trillions from the deficit in order to raise the nation's debt limit, President Barack Obama and Democrats are saying almost anything to avoid the politically toxic pronouncement that they want to increase taxes. Republicans, for their part, are just as quick to declare elimination of the most rarefied corporate benefit a job-killing tax hike on the American people. It's all about winning the public relations debate over the debt limit, and in turn, perhaps, gaining a more politically advantageous outcome in the resulting deal itself. "We're at a point where there's no good tax," said Joseph J. Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project at the nonprofit group Tax Analysts. "The sort of value proposition of a tax has been destroyed, so nobody wants to say it, nobody wants to say in any fashion that they support it except, because it polls well, taxing the rich." Read more.......

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