• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Boehner Willing To Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire For Wealthiest Americans

A signal today from the House Republican Leader that compromise may be possible on the issue of the extension of the 2003 “Bush Tax Cuts” past their expiration date on December 31st:

WASHINGTON — The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said on Sunday that he was prepared to vote in favor of legislation that would let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans if Democrats insisted on continuing the lower rates only for families earning less than $250,000 a year.

Speaking on “Face the Nation” on CBS, Mr. Boehner made clear that he supports continuing the lower tax rates at all income levels and that he believes the Democrats would be making a mistake by increasing taxes on anyone, given the weak economy.

But Mr. Boehner said that absent any other option, he would vote in favor of legislation proposed by President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders who say they want to continue the lower rates only for Americans they regard as middle class.

“If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I’ll vote for them,” Mr. Boehner said, in response to questioning by the television show’s host, Bob Schieffer, who pointedly asked if Republicans were willing to hold the tax breaks for most Americans “hostage” to insist on continuing the lower rates for the highest earners.

Mr. Boehner’s position, which he had not previously articulated, represents a major strategic move by Republicans, who are increasingly optimistic about their chances of taking control of the House in November. His decision also raises pressure on Democrats, who are increasingly divided among themselves over what to do about the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year.

Boehner’s position is also consistent with that held by a majority of Americans according to a new Gallup poll:

PRINCETON, NJ — A majority of Americans favor letting the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration expire for the wealthy. While 37% support keeping the tax cuts for all Americans, 44% want them extended only for those making less than $250,000 and 15% think they should expire for all taxpayers.

Now, the ball is in the hands of the Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate. It would seem to be fairly easy for them to pull together a bill extending the tax cuts for Americans earning less than $ 250,000. Its hard to believe that any politician in a tight race, Republican or Democrat, is going to want to go on record as being against tax cuts immediately prior to an election. If they don’t do it, then they face the risk of losing control of one or both Houses of Congress and thus giving the GOP an excellent opportunity to extend the tax cuts across the board.

So, what are you going to do Democrats ?

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mithras says:

    Did you read the whole article?
    At least five Senate Democrats have already voiced public support for continuing the lower tax breaks at all income levels, at least temporarily. That suggests that Democrats could come up short of the 60 votes that they would need to overcome procedural obstacles for a bill that would allow the cuts to expire for the wealthy.
    Mr. Boehner, in the interview, said he agreed with those Democrats and suggested he was content to let them fight the Democratic leadership and the White House.
    In other words, Boehner is saying he’s willing to compromise because he’s betting he won’t have to. Anyway, even if it does come to pass that a compromise bill achieves cloture, Boehner will just renege on the offer to compromise. Republicans always do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Mithras says:

    Jeez, what happened to the formatting there? Blockquote was supposed to start at “At least” and end at “and the White House.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. mpw280 says:

    Now, the ball is in the hands of the Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate. It would seem to be fairly easy for them to pull together a bill

    Come on now, we are talking about one of the most messed up groups ever, it won’t be that easy. Some of these goofs were voted for by the people that do make 250k a year and they will surely be less inclined to vote for the guy who is repeatedly bleeding them so money can be shipped to those who don’t pay income taxes. The minority that pays income tax will wake up eventually and tell the democrats to stick it, I hope.  mpw

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    Jeez, what happened to the formatting there? Blockquote was supposed to start at “At least” and end at “and the White House.”

    I can understand what your yapping about and I’m sure most of us are smart enough to realize it:)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. PD Shaw says:

    Politics is politics.  Flashback to Election 2008:

    “Barack Obama promised he would lower taxes for 95 percent of Americans and presumably raise them for the 5 percent who benefited most under President Bush’s tax policies. But, remarkably, the most affluent 5 percent supported Obama and that was perhaps the key to his victory last week.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15471.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Tano says:

    But, remarkably, the most affluent 5 percent supported Obama and that was perhaps the key to his victory last week.”
     

    Actually, that would be quite the stretch. He won the demographic of “income over 200K” by about the same margin as he won in the general population (51-45). He won the the “income under 25K” demographic by 72-25 or so.
     
    http://www.historycentral.com/elections/12008/exit/Income.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. ponce says:

    Perhaps the top earners in America generally view paying taxes as their patriotic duty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. JKB says:

    Perhaps the top earners in America generally view paying taxes as their patriotic duty.

    That is conceivably true but for the subset seeking a high position in this administration, it is decidedly not.  Which is odd, given that Obama has spoken about how he can spend “that” money for better things than what those who earned it could.  So deductively, his staff and administration are working to undermine him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0