January 24th, 2010
09:26 AM ET
8 years ago

Axelrod refuses to rule out tax increases to deal with deficit


"We want to sit down in a constructive way and approach this problem," Obama senior adviser Axelrod said Sunday. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's senior adviser on Sunday refused to rule out tax increases as part of a solution to the nation's growing deficit.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," David Axelrod said Obama supported having Congress set up a bipartisan commission that would come up with a plan to reduce the deficit.

"We want to sit down in a constructive way and approach this problem," Axelrod said.

He wouldn't speculate about possible solutions, saying, "Let's see what a bipartisan effort to deal with these deficits will produce."

"Whatever the appropriate approach is, the president will be straight up with the nation," Axelrod said.

Asked about the possibility of tax increases, Axelrod said: "If anybody has a plan to do this without raising any taxes on anybody, upper income or below, they should come forward with it because nobody wants to raise taxes."

During the 2008 election campaign, Obama repeatedly promised he would not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year.

Filed under: David Axelrod • national debt • State of the Union • Taxes
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Scott, Tucson

    Fat chance of obama trying to get his Dem's to go along with him to raise taxes this year, it would be political suicide for those running this year, as would inviting obama to come out and campaign for them.

    January 24, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Eileen

    The biggests problem with Obama is the people he surrounds himself with. I don't like Axelrod, Emanual, Van Jones, Gibbs. Everyone he has advising him and working for him are shady characters. And that's all I need to know about Obama.

    January 24, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. billy123

    Well we know the people on Wall Street with the large bonus should not have a tax increase correct?

    January 24, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Colin

    Here come the middle-class tax hikes, something I anticipated from the get-go. The deficit would soar, the economy would weaken, and Obama would start up with the rhetoric of "we all have to pitch in!"

    Of course we are already subjected to the "inflation tax" by virtue of the bailout, the endless money printing, and intentional inflation of the economy to stave off deflation.

    So the average American will be lucky to have healthcare, and even luckier if they can pay their taxes.

    January 24, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. ran

    Again this President does not get it. The republicans are not going to do anything to help and there are enough confused voters out there mostly Independents who are going after the wrong people.

    It is the Republicans, Lieberman,Nelson,blue-dogs and the use of the filibuster that is causing the problems with getting anything done.

    This President and the Democrats need to forget bipartisan-ism and use the reconciliation process and just get things done until we get 60+ true democrats in the senate or the Republicans wake up and stop their fear/hate/obstructionism.

    I wounder why the so call Independents in Ma. did not vote for the Independent on the ticket if they were so upset with how things are going in Washington? My guess is they are like Lieberman,Nelson and blue dogs: Really Republicans but to ashamed to admit it.

    January 24, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. pjacobs

    Re-distribution of wealth ....That's right raise taxes and destroy any HOPE for the small businesses to get back on their feet and start hiring. Yep, that will do it alright!

    January 24, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Michele

    At this point, states in particular have few options to raising taxes. And the anti-tax nuts have to realize that services and education cannot be slashed much more.

    January 24, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. El Kababa

    Here we go. Someone has used the forbidden T-word: "taxes." Now the free lunch crowd will post a few hundred comments about how evil taxes are, how they are an invention of Satan designed to suck the life from hard-working Americans. These free-loader Conservatives want to live in a 21st century democracy, but they don't want to pay for it. 85% of the deficit spending since Jimmy Carter's presidency was run up by Reagan, Bush, and Bush. "Borrow and Spend" is the Conservative motto.

    We can't afford more deficit spending, so we must cut spending or raise taxes. Let's see ... what should we cut? I propose that we eliminate fire departments, police departments, road construction, air traffic control, the weather bureau, the FBI, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force (keep the Coast Guard and the Army), restaurant health inspections, public universities, free public schools, child health programs, autism research, special education, and cancer research. That should about do it. Then, let the free market make America into a paradise. Also, we could save a lot of money by deregulating bands and getting rid of the socialist federal reserve. After all, we can trust the banks to run themselves properly.

    So all of you who HATE TAXES, tell us what you would cut to save a trillion dollars from the federal budget or SHUT UP!

    January 24, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. mh

    amazing how Axelrude now wants to sit down with a bipartisan commission to fix things. This administration's patisan ways have brought the country to the brink of ruin! Maybe he sees Mass. and thinks – hmmm – maybe I like having a job. Vote them out in 2010!!!

    January 24, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Willy Brown

    That's right David raise taxes then blame it on Bush.

    January 24, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. John

    Then reducing the spending and quit creating pie-in-the-sky program/ideas.

    January 24, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    What if big corporations had to match every penny they used to bribe the GOP with an equal amount paid to the deficit? That way they can buy their legislators, but it will help all Americans.

    January 24, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. aliou Jacksonville, FL

    David Axelrod,

    Don't' mind the tea party. The American people are with you. We want a strong public option health care reform. But we need the president stand with us and by us and we will stand by him all the way to 2016 .
    Let the democratic party stand by Nancy Pelosi and we would stand by them until the next century and beyond.

    We now believe in Nancy than we believe in anyone else in the democratic party.

    January 24, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Watchdog

    They have been floating tax increase trial balloons since Obama took office.....They are trying to find ANY tax increase they can sell!
    After all they are DemoCRAPS!!!

    January 24, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. terry,va

    Look at Axelrod. He looks like a commie. Go join Chavez.

    January 24, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Mark

    A democrat wants to raise taxes!!!

    Big surprise!


    January 24, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. Tim

    Obama should make tax increases the pillar of his state of the union address. It will show how out of touch he is.

    January 24, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Fed Up

    Oh, Axelrod. You're in trouble now! You're spilling the beans. Obama said there wouldn't be any tax increases. Shame, shame. Can't be that he lied, can it? No, a politician would NEVER lie!

    January 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is a 1 and done president.

    He is a failure for the Democrats.
    They should have picked Hillary.
    Barack is a bad president and needs to find another job.
    He clearly was given a job that he does not deserve and can not do.

    January 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. porchhound

    YEAH...the commission is supposed to "start work in November after the elections"...Now what does THAT tell you? If Obama is SO CONCERNED about deficits why did he run a deficit EIGHT TIMES higher than GW BUSH? And what about that pork he was going to eliminate...AFTER he has purchased the votes in November. Clearly WORSE THAN CARTER!

    January 24, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. porchhound

    Love this comment:

    "What if big corporations had to match every penny they used to bribe the GOP with an equal amount paid to the deficit?"

    Can we have ALL the corporations, Unions, Acorn, etc do the same? Or is it just the Republicans you want to punish? How about George Soros and GOOGLE? You may be ON to something...but lets do it to BOTH PARTIES...you see there are MORE MILLIONAIRES DEMS in national office than REPUBS.....bottom line: BOTH PARTIES ARE SCUM and the system is CORRUPT and they WIN when you and I argue.

    January 24, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. nick

    People seem to forget that taxes is the way government raises money. People scream and cry for a balanced budget that pays off the GOPer engendered national debt but do not raise taxes! This does not equate since out Constitution does not allow the federal government to renounce its debt. So, citizens, which is it: taxes or greater debt? YOU CANNOT HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TO AS REAGAN SAID YOU CAN....

    January 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. southnh

    Taxes needed to be raosed years ago....because ofthe Fed Debt...........but Axlerod must be joking to think Obama will do this in an election year.

    January 24, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Terry

    The president has been ill-served by the people surrounding him in the White House. I did not vote for Obama (lack of experience, totally untested) or McCain (too old, two-faced), so what right have I to complain, I suppose. But Obama's lack of experience has hurt his first year. But at least he's a lot more experienced now! I wish him and all of us good luck.

    January 24, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. david

    what about cutting spending? how about withdrawing from afghanistan which is probably our longest war ever? how about not giving 100 million, taxpayer monies, toward haiti relief? how about stopping bailout monies from flowing freely without auditing how it is spent? how about obama vacationing in ILL or DC rather than HI on the taxpayers dime? cut, cut, and cut some more. this is about obama now, it is not about any former administration.

    January 24, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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