Obama Insists on Tax Hikes for the Rich
President Barack Obama said that he would not compromise on his plans to increase tax rates on high earners as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations between the Republican leaders and the White House. In his weekly radio address, President Obama said that increasing tax rates on the wealthiest Americans was a question asked during the presidential election that was answered on Election Day.
The president said he wants a balanced solution to the fiscal cliff. He wants narrow tax increases and specific spending cuts to solve the problem. This includes across the board tax increases and spending cuts in defense and other government programs in 2013.
President Obama said he is willing to work with Republicans to decrease the deficit via spending cuts for entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. The president didn’t specify which cuts he would support.
Deep tax cuts that were passed under President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress doesn’t extend the tax cuts for the middle class, a typical family of four would have to pay $2,200 more in taxes in 2013.
During his radio broadcast, President Obama urged Congress to pass a law that would extend the tax rates for the first $250,000 of income but will raise the tax for those above it. The White House is willing to negotiate how high the top-tier tax rate would increase. The top marginal income tax rate will increase to 39.6 percent from the current 35 percent if the tax cut expires.
House Speaker John A. Boehner sent out signals that the House Republicans were willing to consider a rate increase. He told reporters that there are several things that are possible to put the revenue that the president wants on the table. Bit his office released a statement later the day that stated that the speaker’ opposition to higher rates hasn’t changed.