Politics

White House begins groundwork to avoid blame for tax increases

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Jon Ward
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      Jon Ward

      Jon Ward covers the White House and national politics for The Daily Caller. He covered the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first year of Barack Obama's presidency for The Washington Times. Prior to moving to national politics, Jon worked for the Times' city desk and bureaus in Virginia and Maryland, covering local news and politics, including the D.C. sniper shootings and subsequent trial, before moving to state politics in Maryland. He and his wife have two children and live on Capitol Hill. || <a href="mailto:jw@dailycaller.com">Email Jon</a>

President Obama on Thursday indicated that tax increases on people who make less than $250,000 a year will be on the table when a deficit commission makes its recommendations later this year on how to resolve the nation’s fiscal imbalances.

“Everything’s on the table. That’s how this thing is going to work,” Obama said Thursday, moments after signing an executive order creating the 18-member commission.

But the White House has already begun to lay the groundwork for their argument that such a recommendation by the panel should not be blamed on the president, who vowed during his campaign not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000.

“The president will not sit on the commission and the options they present will not necessarily reflect administration policy,” a White House official told The Daily Caller.

Obama’s comment is consistent with past remarks he’s made that the commission will not begin its work with “preconditions,” a word he used to knock Republicans during his remarks Thursday. Many Republicans are skeptical of the panel and do not want to participate unless tax increases are off the table.

Many economic experts see no alternative to raising taxes across the board in order to reduce the federal deficit, which is projected to hit $1.6 trillion this year.

Conservatives, however, see the problem mostly as a spending problem, and are skeptical of the president’s commission because they believe it will inevitably lead to higher taxes.

Rep. Tom Price, Georgia Republican and head of the Republican Study Committee, called the panel “a political solution to a glaring math problem.”

“Since the president has unfairly given Democrats and liberals an over representation on the commission, the odds are high that its recommendations will be heavy on tax increases and light on spending reductions,” Price said.

An increase in taxes would be a potentially lethal political issue in the 2012 election, when Obama will presumably run for reelection.

Obama thanked panel co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson for taking on “a difficult and perhaps thankless task,” and said the former Clinton White House chief of staff and Republican Senator from Wyoming were “taking on the impossible.”

Obama will appoint four other members of the commission, and Democrats and Republicans in Congress will appoint six members each. The panel will be required to report recommendations to Congress by Dec. 1.

“The Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015,” reads the president’s executive order.

Their recommendations will not be binding or even require a vote, however. A congressionally chartered commission that would have had binding authority to require an up or down vote by Congress was voted down in the Senate last month.

Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said his boss and Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Republican, sent a letter to the president two weeks ago “offering to help force votes in the Congress on his proposed spending reductions.”

“Combine this commission announcement, which apparently will report after the election, with the fact that he has not responded on the offer to work together to force votes on his own proposals and it is enough to lead one to believe that this all for political show,” Dayspring said.

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  • mpawl38

    This president is an IDIOT.

    He is a POS and has not said the truth since he got into any office.

    Has he kept even on promise? has he even said anything close to the truth?

    He needs to step down before he make the US go completely down hill.

    He is AN A$$

  • patrick

    taxes on those making 250k have already been raised. Here’s how.
    Mr. X is an 80 year old man. He has an estate of $1m. In that estate is walmart he’s had for years. Its worth $250,000. His cost basis is $40,000.

    If he died in 2009 he would have had no estate tax because his estate was under 3.5$m. There would be no capital gains tax on the walmart stock because it got a step up in basis at his death. no taxes.

    Lets say though instead he dies in 2010. No estate tax because there is no estate tax at all this year. However now the step up in basis is gone. the Walmart stock is taxed at 15% of gain ($250,000 – $40,000 = $210,000 of gain. ) his tax on his estate then is $42,000.

    In Texas we call that a tax increase.

  • nc28105rp

    Obama cannot avoid accountability for raising taxes… he appointed the commission. Directly or indirectly it will be his decision.

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  • tomdoff

    Keep in mind, all you anti-obamers, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady warbles. And Rush, the most ladylike of the fatsos, is still just babble-boobling, WAY out-of-tune. And the chances of his carrying a note, other than Billion-Dollar-Bills down to his dungeon-crypt, are miniscule. So it’s a toss-up. Will Obama beat the odds, and defeat the entrenched Powers-That-Be? Or will the Limbaugh Blimp become punctured, and flatulate in tune as it crashes to earth?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Sanford/100000119110135 Mark Sanford

      Wow, talk about a totally incoherent post. Obama taking on the “entrenched interests”? It always amazes me the mindset of liberals who believe the accumulation of yet more power in Washington D.C. equates to “taking on entrenched interests”. The federal government is the epitome of “entrenched interests” and only those enamored of the federal government, ie liberals, can’t see it. I have yet to figure what liberals find so intoxicating about a more powerful government.

      Hey, tomdoff, why you don’t get back to us when you can explain how taking more money out the taxpayers’ wallets equates to taking on the powers that be instead of further empowering those interests.

    • erick1740

      could you be any bigger a dumbass?? it is amazing

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