On CBS’ Face The Nation on Sunday, Barack Obama was clear that at the center of his presidential campaign was his crusade to raise Americans’ taxes. In 2011 Republicans indicated that they were willing to raise some taxes in order to cut the deficit, but that would be contingent upon Obama agreeing to spending cuts. That deal fell apart as Obama insisted in billions of new taxes which Republicans did not agree to.
Scott Pelley addressed the issue with Obama:
OBAMA: What I’ve said in reducing our deficits – we can make sure that we cut 2.5 dollars for every dollar of increased revenue.
PELLEY: That’s the deal they turned down.
OBAMA: That’s part of what this election is about. Gov. Romney said he wouldn’t take a deal for $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue increases.
The dispute over taxes will take front-and-center stage after the election as lawmakers work to find a solution to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the combination of expiring Bush-era tax rates and $1 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts which would take effect at the start of 2013.
Obama also cited former President Bill Clinton, who spoke at last week’s Democratic convention, to back his argument to raise tax rates on those making more than $250,000 by allowing the Bush rates to expire.
“If we go back to the rates we had under Bill Clinton, we can close the deficit stabilize the economy, and keep taxes on the middle class low,” Obama said.
Republicans though are in favor of extending the Bush rates for all tax brackets, saying that Obama’s proposal would hurt small businesses and weaken job growth.
At the same time that Obama was claiming Romney’s unwillingness to raise taxes in a deal to cut spending, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was on ABC’s This Week talking about a deal he would consider. Again, The Hill reports,
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday refused to reject a hypothetical debt-reduction deal that would include both spending cuts and tax hikes.
In an interview on ABC’s This Week airing Sunday, Ryan was asked if he would straight reject a deal which would provide $1 in new taxes for every $10 in spending cuts.
Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee, said he would weigh the “quality of the agreement.”
“It depends on the quality of the policy. Our negotiators in the supercommittee offered higher revenues through tax reform. John Boehner did as well. So George, what really matters to me is not ratios but what matters is the quality of the policy,” Ryan told host George Stephanopoulos.
“There’s no deal to walk away from. The point is, you’re not giving me a deal to look at. You’re giving me ratios,” said Ryan. “Here’s — let me say this. Our problem is not that we are overtaxed. We are overtaxed. Our problem is we spend too much money.”
Ryan also said that there would be no “back room” deals cut and that they “shouldn’t hatch a secret plan like ObamaCare. We should do it out in the public view where the public can participate.” He did acknowledge that “high income earners use most of the loopholes,” but said the goal was that “high income earners should not get these kinds of loopholes.”
“If you take those loopholes, those tax shelters away from high income earners, more of their income is subject to taxation. And that allows us to lower tax rates on everybody — small businesses, families, economic growth,” said Ryan.