Home » Opinion » Editorials
Rates and revenue: Obama's strange obsession
President Obama's fixation on raising the official tax rate on Americans with incomes of more than $200,000 a year borders on the pathological. Financially, it makes no sense. There are better ways to stimulate the economy, reduce the debt and balance the budget. But Obama is determined to force higher tax rates on higher-income Americans regardless of the effects on the budget or the economy.
"There can be no deal without rates on top earners going up," White House Spokesman Jay Carney said last week. "There's not going to be an agreement without rates going up," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on CNN on Sunday.
But raising rates does not necessarily raise federal revenue (see Thomas Sowell's column on this page). And Republicans have offered a plan that would raise $800 billion in revenue without raising rates. Based on a proposal from Democrat Erskine Bowles, it would reduce loopholes that allow richer Americans to avoid paying the higher rates already on the books.
Obama rejected it. A White House spokesman said it wasn't "balanced." It reportedly raises revenues by $800 billion and shaves spending by $1.4 trillion. Obama's offer raises taxes by $1.6 trillion, trims entitlements by $400 billion, cuts another $110 billion and adds $50 billion in new spending. There's a $600 billion gap between new revenues and spending cuts in the GOP plan, and a $1.04 trillion difference in Obama's plan. What's that about balance?
Balance is not what Obama wants. He wants total ideological victory over the Republican Party. For that, he is willing to risk plunging the country into another recession.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Smiles say it all about Santa Fund - 0
- Dec. 29 Santa Fund donor list - 0
- Today's list of Santa Fund contributors - 0
- 'Sometimes, people hit hard times' - 0
- Santa Fund Toy Shop helps 1,185 families - 0
- Unexpected role has its challenges - 0
- Union Leader Santa Fund: Today's list of contributors - 0
- Bonneville continues support of Santa Fund - 0
- 'We do what we can to keep them happy' - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- 600 votes cast in Hudson by midday - 0
- Man dies after officer-involved Rochester shooting - 0
- Londonderry polls average 100 voters per hour - 0
- Faulty lamp caused Manchester blaze - 0
- Nashua school members' letter prompts an apology - 0
- UNH Law named a top 100 law school in magazine’s rankings - 0
- Musher Seavey wins Alaska's Iditarod dogsled race; woman with NH ties finishes second - 0
- UPDATE: Hudson police standoff ends; person in custody - 0
- Revised lice policy gets cool reception from some at Manchester school meeting - 1
Taken for a ride: Hooksett’s Pinkerton deal
Manchester schools project budget surplus