September 30th, 2010
11:40 AM ET
4 years ago

GOP is holding tax cuts 'hostage,' Axelrod says

Washington (CNN) – Senior presidential aide David Axelrod blasted out an e-mail to supporters on Thursday blaming Republicans for the county's current fiscal woes and blasting them for a devising "cynical accounting trick" to have the Bush tax cuts expire in January.

Echoing a recent White House refrain, he applauds President Barack Obama in the e-mail for "fighting for the middle class."


In doing so, Axelrod joins the chorus of senior Democrats now playing both offense and defense at the same time against Republicans in the face of what is shaping up to be a difficult midterm election for Democrats.

The e-mail appears to underscore a message Democrats hope will appeal to disaffected middle income voters: not only is the Democratic party trying to fix problems that Republicans created, but voters should re-elect Democrats or face more of those problems. Axelrod ends his missive by pounding this idea home, saying, "We simply cannot afford to go back to their failed policies."

His appeal comes at a time when the White House has proposed ending the Bush-era tax cuts for families with incomes above $250,000 per year. Obama argued at a campaign stop in Iowa Wednesday that extending the whole package of tax cuts merely "puts off hard problems."

Republicans, meanwhile, contend that raising taxes on anyone will hamper an already sluggish economic recovery.

The GOP is "holding these tax cuts for the middle class hostage, demanding that we also lift the cap and extend the breaks to millionaires and billionaires," Axelrod says in the e-mail.

Democrats are facing what could turn out to be a Republican takeover of Congress, as well as the loss of a number of governors mansions in November.


Filed under: David Axelrod • issues • Taxes
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. King

    When the dems took over little after the recession started, they tried to stop the bush distructive policies but they were vetoed over and over again by bush The country failed by the contant building of houses that wasnt payed for. The vehicle and morgages to people that couldnt afford it, tax break that wasnt payed for. When the bubble burst the country was in trillins of dollars in the hole then every thing started tumbling. The repugs bitch about the trillion dollars use to fix the problem i said it was jeanius it should have taken way more than that.

    September 30, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    The Bush/GOP tax cuts are the SINGLE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTING FACTOR to the national debt and deficit. Add in the borrowing from China that Bush did in order to throw a couple war parties in Iraq and Afghanistan and not a single thing the Dems have done since taking office in 2009 has come close to the damage to the debt and deficit that the GOP did.

    The GOP likes claiming that small businesses will get obliterated by allowing taxes to increase on those making over $250K. However, the facts are as follows: (1) the VAST MAJORITY of small businesses do not make that much in the first place; (2) you are taxed at the same rate as everyone else for those first $250K anyway, and the increased rate only applies as of $250,001; (3) the definition of "small business" that the GOP likes to push includes massive, insanely wealthy corporations like Bechtel, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, etc., simply because they are closely held and the owners/shareholders report corporate earnings on their personal income taxes instead of separately. The reality is, the GOP's parade of horribles is a BIG FAT LIE. It's more like a parade of Shriners doing figure 8s in their miniature go-carts...harmless and not all that amusing unless you're a toddler.

    September 30, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. char

    We are so tired of democrats who have had the majoirity since 2006 using others as scapegoats. They even stoop low enough to blame Americans for not understanding the heath care reform. Time for them to grow a pair and take responsibility for their own actions since 2006

    September 30, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Republicians R RACIST

    Republicians want to lay of teachers, firefights, and police so they can give $700 billion to the rich who already holding on to $2 trillions dolaars in wealth and not spending squat!!! But they want to break the backs of hardworking middleclass people a pay us NOTHING. The Republicians dont want to make the American Dream for minorities or any regular middleclass worker. THEY SPEND ALL THEIR EFFORT TRYING TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MEXICANS IN ARIZONA!!! Thats what they been focused on this whole time NOT JOBS!!!!

    September 30, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    He missed the part where the GOP is holding American progress out of this economic recession hostage, in order to make the Dems look like failures (especially the President) so they can win the mid-terms. Just what we need, the people who caused this meltdown with 30 years of letting corporations run wild, back at the helm. I pay attention. The GOP is looking to follow the same policies, tax cuts for the rich and more deregulation. They've saddled us with debt for generations in order to enrich their friends. They'll destroy our fragile eco systems for the same reason. Is this truly what we want?

    Is there any way of getting through to the people who vote for them, against their own best interests? Sadly, they wear their ignorance as a badge of honor these days – like the Teabaggers. They're not even aware their "grassroots" movement has been bought and paid for by those million/billionaires who benefit from our destruction. We're in trouble.

    September 30, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Republicians ARE TERRIBLE!!!

    Republicians want to lay off teachers, firefights, and police so they can give $700 billion to the rich who already holding on to $2 trillions dollars in wealth and not spending squat!!! But they want to break the backs of hardworking middleclass people and pay us NOTHING. The Republicians dont want to make the American Dream for minorities or any regular middleclass worker. THEY SPEND ALL THEIR EFFORT TRYING TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MEXICANS IN ARIZONA!!! Thats what they been focused on this whole time NOT JOBS!!!!

    September 30, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. knez011

    PLAIN and SIMPLE: Democrats are in majority in both houses of the Congress and they can pass anything they want. And yet they blame Republicans for obstructionism????? That is the most pathetic display of political impotence in my recent memory. Not to mention the aftermath of the BP disaster where the entire South Coast is held hostage to environmental zealots who want the oil economy there DEAD. The smartest of the Democrats is leaving town (Rahmbo), and who will fall on sword after the elections? Miss ya, W.

    September 30, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. joe

    Lets get this stragiht. Ms Pelosibrokethe vote in the House to suspend proceedings and go home on Sept 29th. There was a tie foadjournment and she voted in facvor of adjournment for the House until after the elections. The rason, she knew the House was going to vote for the Tax extension to all people. While the Democrats continually say they are for the poor and the middle class, lets point outthe cigarette tax increase to 1.10 perpack last year. Who passed it–Obamaand the Democrats. They did this knwoing full well that the poor and the middle class are themajority of smokers in this country ,did this stop them from passing the unbelivable tax of 110 per pack Hell no. The obama care plan calls for a penalty if you do not have medical insurance. It is actually a tax. Who do you thinkthe majority of people who willl not be able to afford the insurance, the middle class and the poor. Just with those two items, all you liberals and Obama supporters out there tell me how Obama and the Dems are looking out for the middle class and the poor. Also they talk aboutthe deficit being incvreased by 7 Hundred billion on the tax cut for the rich. What they fail to mention to the country is the fact that the tax relief will cost 2.3 trillion for keeping intact the extesnion for those earning less than 250K. Why do you thik everyone is leaving the White House that has anything to do with the budget or economics. Your hero will not budge. All those people leaving have told him it is wrong not to extend the cuts for all the people in this recession. He is a narcistic elitist and the country needs to wake up in November and clean house.

    September 30, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. smess

    Can't wait for November!

    September 30, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. DavisFLSt8

    Funny, I didn't see any reference to the fact that there are democrat members of both houses of congress that want to extend the current tax policy for all Americans. Seems to me that it is the far left that is holding the middle class hostage by not passing what even those within the democrat party want to do.

    September 30, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Travis

    Here in lies the problem for most people. A bill can't pass with 50 votes, a simple majority isn't enough. 3/5 of the senate must vote Aye to pass a bill, that would mean 60 votes. So yes the Dems had control but not enough control to pass anything without Repub bi-partisan support. 11 Republicans/Independants would have to vote with the Dems to pass any bill in the Senate. The more you know the better your vote.

    September 30, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. jenn, philadelphia

    Of course, since the Democrats didn't even try to force a vote because they knew some of their own members are against it is beside the point. If Axelrod and Obama can blame the Republcans, that's all that matters. They won't let the truth get in the way.

    September 30, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Tom

    Oh, we can stop outsourcing... just as long as you're prepared to pay much higher prices for everything. Can't have it both ways.

    September 30, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Eric

    Let all the tax cuts expire. In fact we need to put the tax structure to how it was before Regan screwed the pooch, we were paying down the national debt from WW2 until Regan, then it exploded, we would be out of debt if he never cut the taxes for the rich.

    September 30, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. King

    The repugs policy of saying no to every thing the dems want to do then blame the dems for not getting it done. just shows how stupid you think the american people are. Youve obstructed every bill the dems try to par right in front of the people then use fox entertainment news to some how twist the truth and the people fall for it every time. You know what you may have a point about these peole its amazing.

    September 30, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Orlando Patriot

    What an arrogant and corrupt administration!! Let me explain how politics work – the two sides discuss what they believe to be the best for the country. Discussion occurs and a compromise is found. Just because one party makes a decision and says "take it or leave it" does not make a compromise. Maybe of the Democrats were ACTUALLY willing to compromise our economy would not be in the tank. Democrats would not let the Republicans even be in the DISCUSSION for health care and forced it down our throats. Premiums going up now because of that by as much as 30%. Can't blame Republicans. Democrats forced a "stimulus" (that didn't stimulate) costing over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS!! Republicans not allowed to discuss and Democrats forced down our throats. Economy is callapsing. Don't blame Republicans.

    End result is EVERYTHING that Obama has passed to date is a catastrophe. To say Republicans are "holding tax cuts hostage" is arrogant, ignorant, and idiotic. Why don't you open a discussion? Do you know multiple Democrats were willing to cross the aisle and vote FOR extension of ALL tax cuts? But Pelosi and Reed don't even want that discussed. So who is holding tax cuts hostage? Of course – Democrats.............

    September 30, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Dave

    There really is no excuse for preserving these tax cuts for the rich. The old theory of "but then the rich will create jobs" is provably false: these tax cuts have been in place for nearly a decade and we've had negative job growth from them. That's one of those theories that sounds okay but if you look at the actual results, it hasn't worked at all, and it's insane to keep doing things that have bad effects.

    And if you really want to get the deficit under control, you have to tax the rich a little more. Cutting spending alone will not do it, and people who think it will have no clue what they're talking about and have just been brainwashed by Republican talking points. Republicans are being irresponsible, fighting this.

    September 30, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    The GOP hates America and Americans.

    September 30, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Otto

    Love these posts. Democrats are evil, they MUST extend all tax cuts. They must NEVER cut the military wasteful programs. They must follow the same pattern of Bush. "Axelrod is the epitome of a liberal elitist " and they are only good at raising taxes and spending money. Those are some of the stupidest arguments I have heard and continue to do so everyday.

    Not one of us posting here earn more than $200,000, so your arguments are lame. Those with millions will not post here and YES, they can afford the tax re-set. Frankly, the Republican mind set is far from sensible and they refuse to see that the tax re-set will save over 700 billion, over ten years. While keeping tax low for middle ($200,000) and lower tax brackets. What's so wrong with have more from those who don't need it, to help correct the balance? Roads and bridges are a mess, the economy still in shambles and you Republicans are only interested in the multi-millionairs. It's a lie, so stop making noise over lies!

    September 30, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Republicians ARE TERRIBLE!!!

    Republicians want to lay off teachers, firefighters, and police so they can give $700 billion to the rich who already holding on to $2 trillions dollars in wealth and not spending squat!!! But they want to break the backs of hardworking middleclass people and pay us NOTHING. The Republicians dont want to make the American Dream for minorities or any regular middleclass worker. THEY SPEND ALL THEIR EFFORT TRYING TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MEXICANS IN ARIZONA!!! Thats what they been focused on this whole time NOT JOBS!!!! They also want to make college less affordable so people can climb the ladder its very troubling to see what they REALLY want to do to America BUSH ROUND TWO!!! GUESS WHAT IM NOT BUYING IT I WANT THEM OUT!!!!

    September 30, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. phoenix86

    I wonder what Axlerod says about the 3.8% tax INCREASE on all rental income, stock sale, home sale, etc. that Obama / Pelosi and Reid gave Americans as a present with Obamacare.

    This administraiton is comprised of serial liars betting that Americans will be as gullible now as they were in 2006.

    September 30, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Republicians ARE TERRIBLE!!!

    Republicians want to lay off teachers, firefighters, and police so they can give $700 billion to the rich who already holding on to $2 trillions dollars in wealth and not spending squat!!! But they want to break the backs of hardworking middleclass people and pay us NOTHING. The Republicians dont want to make the American Dream for minorities or any regular middleclass worker. THEY SPEND ALL THEIR EFFORT TRYING TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MEXICANS IN ARIZONA!!! Thats what they been focused on this whole time NOT JOBS!!!! They also want to make college less affordable so people can't climb the ladder its very troubling to see what they REALLY want to do to America BUSH ROUND TWO!!! GUESS WHAT IM NOT BUYING IT I WANT THEM OUT!!!!

    September 30, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. phoenix86

    Given the Pelosi and Reid decided to postpone the vote on extending the tax cuts, Axlerod appears to need therapy; as he cannot see reality anymore.

    September 30, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Vote Democrats or bend over for Tea PartyGOP!

    The Middle class should not pay for tax breaks, for companies that ship jobs overseas. Walmart just announce that It will create thousands of jobs overseas in the next five years. This is a slap in the face to every American workers. Vote for Democrats to close tax loopholes to STOP COMPANIES FOR RECIEVING TAX BREAKS FOR SHIPPING AND HOARDING CASH OUT OF THIS COUNTRY!!!!

    September 30, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. bobden

    The repub creeps have tried to block every bill brought up in the Senate. They have managed to most of the time.
    They are a 41 vote majority.

    September 30, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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