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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flashback: Obama Refuses Republican Plan To Eliminate Tax Deductions And Loopholes

By Susan Duclos

Flashback to December 2012 when the fiscal deal discussions were underway and Republicans proposed additional tax revenue from eliminating tax deductions and loopholes and Barack Obama rejected it, said he would not agree to  a deal that did not raise the tax rates for upper income Americans.

Via CNN, December 4, 2012:

Yet Republicans, led by Boehner, have objected to any increase in tax rates, even for the wealthiest Americans. They have said an agreement must include major reforms of entitlement programs such as the Medicare and Medicaid government-run health-care programs for senior citizens, the disabled and the poor.

Their plan offered Monday proposed $800 billion in deficit savings through tax reform, including an unspecified amount of revenue raised by eliminating tax deductions and loopholes.

The Obama administration's response?

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer criticized it for not meeting "the test of balance." Another Obama spokesman, Jay Carney, earlier said the president "will not sign a bill that extends those tax rates for the top 2%," as the GOP proposal would do.

"Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won't be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit," Pfeiffer said.

The fiscal cliff deal was made, taxes went up for 77 percent of working Americans when the payroll tax holiday expired and tax rates were allowed to rise on upper income Americans. That "balanced" deal garnered $41 in tax revenue for each $1 in spending cuts.

Jump forward to today: Sequestration is just days away, mandatory spending cuts already signed into law with no additional tax hikes, proposed by the Obama administration.

BuzzFeed reports Obama's insistence on replacing the sequester, which again is all spending cuts, with tax revenue and less cuts than are in the sequestration law.

With the sequester due to hit on March 1, Obama will address reporters at 10:45 Tuesday from an auditorium in the White House complex to increase the pressure on Republicans to agree to raise revenues to offset the cuts, the official said.

"With less than two weeks before these cuts hit, the President will challenge Republicans to make a very simple choice: do they protect investments in education, health care and national defense or do they continue to prioritize and protect tax loopholes that benefit the very few at the expense of middle and working class Americans," the official said.
 Go back now and read the Obama administration's refusal  to accept the Republicans offer of "eliminating tax deductions and loopholes." in a deal where it would have been appropriate to add revenue, instead of a done deal which is all about spending cuts. Period.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are in favor of the cuts that will automatically occur in just over a week and Republicans in the House of Representatives have already passed two bills to replace those cuts.

FACT: House Republicans are the only ones who have addressed the president’s sequester, and have passed two bills replacing it with responsible cuts and reforms.
BOEHNER QUOTE: “Republicans have twice voted to replace these arbitrary cuts with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. … The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years.” (Speaker Boehner Statement on the President’s Sequester, 2/5/13)
Barack Obama is desperate to avoid the mandatory cuts his administration proposed and he is once again attempting to blame Republicans by pitching his class warfare rhetoric.