Republicans apparently are nearing a House vote on an alternative U.S. fiscal proposal that would give them the cover of a nominal (but misleaqding) return to higher tax rates for the very wealthiest, but otherwise visit more of the burden on the less fortunate.
It's a dishonest Trojan horse. The tax increase Republicans would allow still would mean a cumulative TAX CUT for all in the over-$1 million income category given the continued lower rates on amounts up to $1 million and a phaseout of deduction limits. In return for this tax cut for the wealthy, the Republicans would thank working poor by taking away improvement to their child and earned income tax credits. (CORRECTION: I characterized how the savings occurred incorrectly in my original post.)
President Obama responds.
The American people have been clear that they will not accept an economic approach that places too big of a burden on the middle class, seniors, students and the most vulnerable Americans while asking too little of the wealthiest Americans. The Congressional Republican “Plan B” legislation continues large tax cuts for the very wealthiest individuals - on average, millionaires would see a tax break of $50,000 - while eliminating tax cuts that 25 million students and families struggling to make ends meet depend on and ending critical incentives for our nation’s businesses. It would also cut off a vital lifeline of unemployment assistance to 2 million Americans fighting to find a job just a few days after Christmas, while deeply cutting Medicare. The deficit reduction is minimal, and perversely, given its authors, solely through tax increases with no spending cuts. This approach does not meet the test of balance, and the President would veto the legislation in the unlikely event of its passage.
The President believes this moment presents both sides an opportunity to reach a significant, balanced deal that is good for American families, the economy and for our nation’s future. He has put forward a proposal that meets the Speaker halfway on both taxes and spending, offering to work with Republicans to cut spending by an additional more than one trillion dollars beyond what he has already signed into law. The President urges the Republican leadership to work with us to resolve remaining differences and find a reasonable solution to this situation today instead of engaging in political exercises that increase the possibility that taxes go up on every American. The American people are watching closely and deserve no less.
From CNN coverage of president's news conference today:
President Barack Obama said today that Republicans are too focused on getting the better of him personally in the fiscal cliff negotiations, rather than considering what is best for the country. "It is very hard for them to say 'yes' to me," Obama told reporters.
"At some point they've got to take me out of it" and focus on "doing something good for the country."
Obama alluded to the Connecticut school shootings in calling on Republicans to compromise, saying that "if there's one thing we should have after this week, it should be perspective about what's important." He added: "Right now, what the country needs is for us to compromise."
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