President Obama urged Republicans to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut in a Monday afternoon press conference. He also criticized Republicans for demanding that the extension be paid for when they did not demand the same of the Bush-era tax cuts.
“Now, I know many Republicans have sworn an oath to never raise taxes as long as they live,” Obama said. “How could it be that the only time there's a catch is when it comes to raising taxes on middle class families? How can you fight tooth and nail to protect high-end tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and yet barely lift a finger to protect taxes going up for 160 million Americans who really need the help? It doesn't make sense.”
The tax breaks Obama referred to were passed in 2002 and 2003 under President George W. Bush. Those cuts lowered the tax rates for all income brackets, not just the brackets for high income Americans. more >>
The Republican members of the supercommittee are fighting back against charges that the supercommittee failed because they opposed tax increases.
In a Friday op-ed in The Washington Post, all six Republican members of the supercommittee – Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Fred Upton (Mich.) and Dave Camp (Mich.) – said they supported a plan that would have provided $250 billion in new revenue from tax reform.
They wrote, “one Democratic talking point needs debunking: that the talks failed because of Republicans’ attachment to the Bush tax cuts.” more >>
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” failed to agree on a bill that would reduce future budget deficits by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Members of Congress were hoping that the supercommittee would solve many difficult political issues in its bill. Failure sets in motion seven issues that will set the political debate for the next year.
1. Payroll Tax Cut
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Tax Relief Act, hereafter) included a temporary reduction in the payroll tax for Social Security (or FICA) paid by employees, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The tax cut expires at the end of 2011. more >>
Grover Norquist, head of the anti-tax advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), denied being a powerful figure in Washington, D.C., these days, but said that “the tax issue is a powerful issue,” in a Sunday interview on CBS' “60 Minutes.” Norquist also explained how he fought to “brand” the Republican Party with opposition to tax increases, and strives to maintain that brand.
Norquist explained how he came up with the idea of establishing an anti-tax brand for the Republican Party when he was 12-years-old and working on a Nixon presidential campaign.
“If the parties would brand themselves, the way Coke and Pepsi and other products do, so that you knew what you were buying in quality control,” Norquist said, then voters will understand what they are getting when they vote Republican. “I'll buy one, I'll take that one home.” more >>
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” is expected to announce Monday afternoon, two days before their deadline, that they failed to reach an agreement on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
Compromise proved to be the supercommittee's kryptonite as neither side found a path forward that would reconcile their opposing views on tax and entitlement reform. Republicans wanted to limit revenue increases and rely mostly upon reducing the growth of Medicare and Social Security. Democrats would not agree to entitlement reform without tax increases on the wealthy.
The task of deficit reduction will now fall to the full Congress. The “Gang of Six,” which has now morphed into the “Gang of 150,” has indicated they will take the lead on building a bipartisan compromise on deficit reduction. Others argue that the best path forward is to do nothing. more >>
The Joint-Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” appears on the verge of failure in its mission to reduce future deficits by at least $1.2 trillion. In Sunday interviews, members of the supercommittee each blamed the members of the opposing party for failures to reach an agreement, but expressed hope that a deal would yet be reached before the Wednesday deadline.
“Nobody wants to give up hope,” supercommittee co-chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said on “Fox News Sunday,” but, “reality is starting to overtake hope.”
Democrats are blaming Republicans for refusing to support tax increases. Republicans are blaming Democrats for refusing to support entitlement reform without tax increases. more >>