September 8th, 2010
08:41 AM ET
4 years ago

Axelrod lays out Obama's tax position

White House aide David Axelrod previewed President Obama’s economic proposals Wednesday morning.
White House aide David Axelrod previewed President Obama’s economic proposals Wednesday morning.

(CNN) – Top White House aide David Axelrod laid out the argument President Obama is set to make later Wednesday against extending tax cuts to the country's wealthiest income earners.

"As for the upper income tax cuts, what we're talking about is a $700 billion borrowing essentially over the next ten years to give a tax cut almost entirely to millionaires and billionaires," Axelrod told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning. "More than half of that tax cut go to people who make $8 million a year or more. "We don't have the money for that."

Obama is expected to push for an extension of tax cuts on the middle class during a speech in Cleveland Thursday while rolling back those tax cuts on earners making more than $200,000 a year. Republicans have said they are only in favor of keeping all the tax cuts in place.

Axelrod also weighed in on a recent New York Times column by Peter Orszag, in which the former White House economic advisor appeared to break ranks with the White House and call for a two-year extension of the tax cuts at all income levels.

"What he said is he would prefer if we didn't move forward on the tax cuts for higher income people. He didn't think they were useful. He thought we might have to in order to get them passed," said Axelrod. "He was offering a legislative strategy on substance. What we need are the middle class tax cuts. The middle class has taken it - taken the hardest hit in the last ten years."

The tax cuts – passed under former President Bush in 2000 – will expire completely at the end of this year if Congress does not act.


Filed under: David Axelrod • issues
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. A Former Democratic Army Veteran

    David Axelrod stay out of politics your nothing but a publicist and know nothing of politics. You can be bought by the highest bidder. I have no use for your traitor like tactics.

    September 8, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Tax cuts for the wealthy do not work! If they did, we would not have lost 7 million jobs during Bush's last two years. Just by what has happened to the national debt as a result of these unpaid far tax cuts, normal people should agree, it is time for them to expire.

    September 8, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. RapierEdge

    Interesting. Wasn't it just the other day, they were saying roll the cuts back for those making 250K+? Now it's 200K+. I wonder what it'll be come January when they sunset. 100K+? 75K+?

    September 8, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. GoofBalls

    These goofs don't seem to grasp the fact that the reason they can't afford tax cuts is the fact they don't have a clue how to manage even a ice cream stand efficiently. They have run us into a debt we may never recover from. Tax cuts for EVERYONE would provide much needed currency flow into the economy. This administration is to busy redistributing the wealth to a sector of society that is not productive and is content to sit on their collective butts and let the working sector carry them through life. Why punish the people who have the ambition and are willing to work hard to make over $200,000 a year? I'll tell you why, because everyone who has a job and earns a living has to support the dregs that won't work and think a free living is owed them.

    September 8, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. Chipster

    Does anybody understand that we cannot afford tax cuts. We did nothing for 8 years while tax were cut, spending was unlimited to keep the American people from feeling the crunch of 2 wars! The bills are due and now we want to blame the grown-ups! It's our fault! We elected people who believe if you cut taxes, spend like crazy, a miracle will happen and the miracle will trickle down! The miracle NEVER happens! It NEVER trickles down!

    September 8, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Steve in North Carolina

    Bottom line. Obama wants to increase taxes and keep spending us into oblivion (and while he's at it start a class war).

    September 8, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Right Leaning Independent

    I am not rich so whether the rich pay more tax or not does not affect me. My problem is that in dollars, these folks pay a lot of money into the system. I am not sure it is fair to ask more of them when you have folks on the lower end of the scale paying nothing... Everyone has a chance in life to be successful. It depends on what you make of your life as to how successful you are. Do not make others pay your share just because you did not amount to much....

    September 8, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Eric

    "Axelrod lays out Obama's tax position"

    Step 1. If it moves, tax it.
    Step 2. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
    Step 3. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

    POTUS FAIL.

    September 8, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire! They have done nothing to create jobs. President Jimmy Carter created 22 million jobs in 4 years, and with Bush's job loss in the economic meltdown, two million jobs were created in his two terms. Tax cuts for the wealthy do not work.

    September 8, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Paul F.

    What caused John Roberts' irritation with his co-anchor during the interview with David Axelrod?

    September 8, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. gt

    ok here is... the plan ...tax everyone and tax them allot....

    September 8, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. Mark from Louisiana

    If this passes I know one of my best customers will be selling off some of his equipment and firing several of his workers so he can stay under the $250,000 cutoff. How is that stimulating the economy?

    September 8, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. Be Fair!

    Face it people, the Administration has no idea what they're doing. They're like a bunch of city boys going out on a fishing trip without learning how to bait a hook or dock a boat.
    Let's throw them a life jacket by putting some balance in there, let the Republican's who have experience running something put some meat on the plate.

    September 8, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. Whatever

    Okay here is a great compromise – – raise the cap to tax cuts for couples making $550,000 and individuals making $500,000. This would give the republicians not where to hide!!!! More people would have a tax cut and still those making over $500K would pay a little higher which the more you make the more you are taxed. Come on Dem leaders – – just increase the cap and the republicians will shut up... then again – – they always find a way of whining!!! Let's get out some cheese to serve with the whines!!!

    September 8, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Bingo

    The government looks at this totally backwards. Tax cuts are NOT increases in spending - they are decreases in revenue/income. Taxes are the salaries that the government's employers (the American taxpayers) pay in return for government goods and services. As every working American knows, if you don't make as much money (i.e., your employer pays you less or your don't sell as many goods and services) then you spend less. And you certainly don't go out and buy a new car if your income is about to be reduced! Increased spending is the new programs and entitlements that the Democratic Congress and administration have passed. Tax cuts are decreased revenue, not increased spending. The American public understands this concept. Why doesn't the American government?

    September 8, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. James

    This guy looks coorked as can be. You can see it in his facial expressions.

    Come 2012 he will be out of a job, sooner if an article of Impeachment is issued sooner.

    We dont neeed to wait until 2012 to hold Obamma responsible.
    We need REAL CHANGE now before the country collaps's

    September 8, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Incompetants in High Places

    Axel and Rahm, please go to chitown and run for mayor, it will be a relief for the rest of the country. We need ACROSS THE BOARD tax cuts to spur a broken economy, not wasteful infrastructure stimulus, created government jobs for the unions and other programs that just add to the national debt. This administration and congress is the most inefficent in history, the leaders to take a course in economics 101. Or is breaking the country in their master plan?

    September 8, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Ben in Texas

    There was an analysis on NPR yesterday that demonstrated that letting all the tax cuts expire would fix the deficit in 5 years. If Repugnants hate deficit spending so much, why don't they support letting taxes go back to what they were under Clinton, when we were running surpluses?

    The fact is, the Repugnant leaders care much more about further enriching the already rich (corporate welfare) than they do about fixing deficits and properly managing the country we've entrusted to them.

    Get the Repugnant's out! All of them!

    September 8, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    The argument against ending the Bush tax cuts is that it will keep businesses from hiring people.

    If that were true, then why did the American economy lose millions of jobs between 2001 and now? The Bush tax cuts have been in effect that whole time ...

    Oh, I remember now: The wealthy took their tax cuts and (when they weren't hiding the money in off-shore accounts or in somehow avoiding paying taxes on it) invested it overseas where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist.

    September 8, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    The top tax rate should be back where it was under Reagan: 39%

    We also need to go after all the unpaid taxes on off-shore and Swiss bank accounts.

    Lastly, the cap on income for FICA needs to be lifted. Right now, you don't pay any FICA on income over $90,000.

    Think of the millions in revenue would be collected if the wealthy paid their fair share.

    It's the least they can do for the country that gave them the opportunity to create their wealth in the first place.

    September 8, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. jamil

    I wish these people would quit talking about tax cuts as if they're an expense! How do you "pay" for tax cuts? Um, maybe spend less?

    September 8, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Clwyd

    Yes, as our town has it s first homeless due to the bush messing with the economy and ruining it it would be nice if the rich didn't get the breaks to keep getting richer and they would consider the tax is to help the have nots as compared to those who have too much!

    September 8, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    TAx cuts fr the rich have not created jobs for the middle class. These fat cat millionaires and billionaires take their tax cut and then send American jobs overseas. I'm tired of calling an insurance company and I get some foreigner from India who can barely speak english.

    September 8, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Mason

    All the small business owners that have sole proprieterships are going to get nailed. Corporations are going to give this a vote of no confidence like they have been since Obama has shown to the be the anti-business President at every turn. Evidently it looks like Democrats may not be stupid enough to let them expire before the November elections but I don't put anything past Obama at this point.

    September 8, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Naqib

    For those that don't understand the rich.
    If I make 10 million this year.... I want to make 10 Million or more next year. If you tax me 4 million... I know make 6 million... I will lay off, cut, move, etc... to get back to my 10 million. Give me an extra 2 million, I'll hire, expand, grow, etc.... to make 14 million next year... so I now make 12 million.

    Carter taxed to death... and people hide their money overseas, moved companies to low tax area's etc....

    It's not pretty... but that's the way it is.

    By the way... those middle class tax cuts will be affected, gains, child credits etc... it will all hit everyone's bottom line.

    September 8, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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