A day after House Speaker John Boehner said the White House “wasted another week” in the negotiations over the “fiscal cliff,” both President Obama and the Republican Party are repeating their arguments over one major sticking point: taxes.
In his weekly address, Obama said there is still some wiggle room on what Democrats are willing to give in negotiations over how to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” at year’s end. But increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans, he stressed, is “one principle I won’t compromise on.”
Under the White House’s proposal to generate revenue by allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire January 1 for the top two percent of earners in America, “everyone would enjoy some peace of mind,” the president argued. He pointed out that “even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income.”
Currently, progress on a deal is stalled due to the split Congress’s disagreement over whether to extend the cuts for all Americans or only those making less than $250,000 a year. Republicans have criticized the president’s “unserious” plan for not cutting spending deeply enough; Obama returned the favor in his remarks, calling the GOP’s proposal “an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans.
Delivering the Republican response, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. – a hero of the hands-off government tea party movement – tried to make the GOP’s case that tax hikes, even on the wealthiest Americans, are not the answer to reining in the deficit.
“Our goal should be to generate new revenue by creating new taxpayers, not new taxes,” he said, arguing that closing loopholes in the tax code would free up revenue.
Which side is giving the most so far in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations?