Democrats deserting Obama on tax hike issue

| June 8 2012

President Obama Increasingly Isolated in Support for Tax Hikes on Small Business Job Creators, GOP United

There is a growing rift amongst Democrats in Washington that has left President Obama and some Democratic leaders increasingly isolated in their support for raising taxes on small business job creators, which members of the president’s own party, including former President Bill Clinton, warn would be disastrous for the economy:

  • Undercutting one of President Obama’s core economic arguments … former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that Congress should extend” current tax rates “because the economy threatens to tumble back into recession.” (The Washington Times, 6/6/12)
  • “President Barack Obama continues to oppose extending” current tax rates “the White House said on Wednesday, shrugging off calls from some Democrats for a temporary extension to make more time for a deal on deficits.” (Reuters, 6/6/12)
  • “The White House said Mr. Obama…wants to increase rates on couples making $250,000 or more. But even among Democrats there is some disagreement…” (The Washington Times, 6/6/12)
  • “Republicans were quick to seize on the apparent divide between Clinton and Obama, citing Clinton’s comments in his interview with CNBC as evidence that Obama is out of step on the tax question and that even the Democratic Party’s elder statesman thinks the economy is in dismal shape.” (MSNBC, 6/5/12)

While Democrats are at odds with one another on the tax issue, Republicans are “presenting a unified House-Senate message to amplify their point” that tax hikes on job creators will hurt economic growth and private-sector job creation:

  • Republicans, who oppose any tax increases, are on offense — thanks in part to the mixed messages from Democrats.” (The New York Times, 6/6/12)
  • “[T]op Republicans in both chambers have seized on remarks … calling for an extension of the Bush tax rates — seeking to highlight the idea that keeping taxes low on everybody is a bipartisan proposition that leaves President Barack Obama in the cold.” (Politico, 6/6/12)
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Boehner’s sentiment. … ‘[I]t’s pretty obvious that the economy needs the certainty of the extension of the current tax rates for at least a year,’ McConnell said.” (CBS News, 6/6/12)
  • “[W]hile Republicans in Congress virtually unanimously support a vote to continue” the current tax rates, “Congressional Democrats cannot seem to decide …” (The New York Times, 6/6/12)

As a recent report in The New York Times  noted, Republicans are not only united on stopping the small business tax hike, but also on several measures that will help put Americans back to work:

  • “By contrast, Congressional Republicans … have managed to coordinate … on the major issues of the day, centered on Speaker John A. Boehner’s catchphrase, ‘Where are the jobs?’ …
  • “Republicans are almost wholly unified on the push for an extension of the Keystone XL pipeline – something Mr. Romney has also supported – but Democrats are divided over the issue.
  • “While Republicans are gaining unity in their fight against looming cuts to the Pentagon, it is not clear that Democrats are working together to maintain the cuts, which Mr. Obama has said must stay in place in the absence of an acceptable compromise on taxes and spending.”

While Democrats are in disarray, House Republicans are leading on jobs – passing more than 30 jobs bills that remain stuck in the Democratic-led Senate, with more to come this week, and in the weeks and months ahead.  House Republicans have also committed to a vote this summer to stop the looming tax hike on small business job creators.  In the wake of another disappointing jobs report, President Obama ought to call on Senate Democrats to pass the jobs bills that are languishing in their chamber, and heed the advice of his fellow Democrats and work with Republicans to give job creators the certainty they need to begin hiring again.

Learn more about the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators at jobs.gop.gov.

0 comments