Comments by Democrats Start Debate on Tax Cuts
Last week, Republicans in Congress jumped on the comments from former President Bill Clinton that disputed those of a senior economic adviser of President Obama claiming the push by Republicans to maintain all of the tax cuts from the Bush-era beyond their 2012 expiration had the support of the upper echelon of the Democratic Party.
Congressional Democrats and officials at the White House responded equally as vigorous by saying neither Lawrence Summers, a former director of the National Economic Council nor the former president ever said the tax cuts ought to be extended.
The exchange was evidence of how sensitive politically the expiration of the tax cut has become thanks to fresh data that shows the economy is slowing down. Most voters say the deficit in the federal budget should be corrected with a mixture of spending cuts and increases in taxes for the rich.
A CBS and New York Times poll said that 56% favored aiding the economy by spending on infrastructure and education while increasing taxes on the highest earners. Thirty-seven percent favored cutting spending and taxes. However, Republicans stood firm against tax increases.
Both of the democrats released statements denying after the television interviews that they had said they were in favor of the tax cuts. President Obama already had endorsed the extension of tax cuts for middle class earners, but promised to oppose the extension of the tax cuts placed during the Bush presidency.
However, due to a weak jobs report for May, the Democrats are on the defensive, worried about the economy slowing down.