Obama Rejects Fake Tax “Compromise”
As the fiscal showdown begins in earnest, Republicans have been trying to at least sound like they’re open to a real compromise on taxing the wealthy. But a closer look at what they’re actually proposing shows that it is no compromise at all. In fact, it’s almost identical to the tax plan none other than Mitt Romney just ran on — and lost.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said the president should find common ground by adopting policies “just like Romney suggested.” This ridiculous argument has been echoed by numerous other Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
What Republicans are proposing is to lower tax rates for the wealthy, close some unspecified loopholes, and then through magic expect to get more revenue. Republicans relied on this same sort of magic math to suggest that the Bush tax cuts would result in massive job growth and enough revenue to completely pay off the national debt by 2010. Instead we got massive deficits and the worst job growth in decades.
During a White House press conference today, the president rejected this kind of magical thinking on taxes. Obama derided “dynamic scoring” — the revenue increases that conservatives claim will occur after tax cuts — saying he would oppose any efforts to only “sorta-kinda raise revenue”:
What I will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says we’re going to sorta-kinda raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified. And the reason I won’t do that is I don’t want to find ourselves in a position six months from now or a year from now, where low-and-behold, the only way to close the deficit is to sock it to middle-class families.
BOTTOM LINE: We have to address our fiscal problems using math, not magic. President Obama received a mandate from voters to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Instead of trying recycle and repackage their failed plans, it’s time for Republicans to stop holding middle class tax cuts hostage and start making a deal.
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