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. Erik S.

    If you read the news, yo know this is a lie, Pelosi punted until after the end of November. Spineless to the end.

    September 30, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. I Think We Should Give More Tax Breaks to Multi-National Corporations, Regulate Them Less and Let Them Outsource American Jobs . . .

    I'm republican.

    September 30, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Bob

    Lets remember why the tax cuts expire now. Because the GOP failed to pay for them when they enacted them and the rules in place at the time made that possible only if the cost was less than a certain number and in order to do that the cuts had to expire to put a cap on the cost. That's the "cynical accounting trick" he's talking about here. It's fine if you want to carp about rising government debt, but if you want to extend the cuts AND complain about the rising debt, then tell us all how you'd like to pay for those cuts that you didn't know how to pay for the first time around.

    September 30, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Texas Doc

    Further proof that the GOP hates America.

    September 30, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Brandon

    For those that say the Dems want to attack the rich, blah, blah, blah... you do understand that a lot of these Dems working for Obama and Obama himself will be increasing their tax liability. Dems in Congress are truly looking out for the middle class (us) at the sacrifice of their own pocketbooks. Weird (sarcasm).

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

    For the record, I'd let it expire in January. Everyone takes a hit and I'll take it too; but creating a new bill that re-set to those making over $1M yearly. That to me is more reasonable, then retro back to January. Every election year, we see more nonsense; instead of facts and solving our ecenomic problems.
    What would I do with added millions, buy a new yatch or private jet? Come on now!

    September 30, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    democrats are all about wealth redistribution....taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive..political points from a segment of the population who doesn't care about much beyond " Stickin' it to da man!"
    -----------------------------------

    Watch the Republicans' heads spin with all the typical GOP indoctrination. "Segment of the population"? Let me educate you clones: 2% of the U.S. population makes over 200K. Who gets the wealth redistribution? The wealthiest 2% keep making more, more, more...with all kinds of tax loopholes. IF those tax perks are so great, then why do U.S. companies keep eliminating millions of jobs and replacing them in India or China? The Middle-Class is the consumer engine that sustains the whole economy. WE are the job creators, not the wealthiest 2% that only care about getting richer at OUR expense.

    September 30, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Oh this is helpful. More finger pointing, more blame game and meantime the American people suffer for it. American families are homeless, hungry, jobless and hopeless and the democrats and the republicans cannot seem to find a way to work together for the betterment of those suffering.

    I say fire both parties, I say no more politics as usual. We need new leadership from both sides...

    September 30, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Debby

    Dems are the ones holding back. They don't want to give tax breaks to all. Hey the more you make the more you pay in so why can't everyone deserve a tax break.

    September 30, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Dave

    Believe me, when I see David Axelrod's name and read "fighting for the middle class" in the story it produces a belly laugh. Do some research on this CFR patsy. He's no friend to us.

    September 30, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    NOTICE: Start taking foreign language(s) so when you make an inquiry on your bank account, etc. you'll be able to understand and communicate with the person the GOP has outsourced your jobs to and your money.

    September 30, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Chino

    The Dems are the majority and could not agree amongst one another whether to raise taxes or keep the tax cuts. Obama's teleprompter is as big a liar as Obama is. Sad thing is that there are people who are stupid enough to parrot this outlandish lie- including the liberal media.

    September 30, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. cjg

    This does not make sense to me ....who has the majority????
    Yes we know the GOP says NO NO NO all the time , but if the Dems want this to pass , it can !

    September 30, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Russ

    OK, if the wonderful Bush tax cuts remain in place on the, I won't say rich, but more well to do Americans because it will create jobs, where are the jobs? I think those tax cuts are in place as we speak. Still no jobs, just bitching that the stimulus package didn't create jobs. Again where are the jobs being created by the tax cuts?

    September 30, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. curious steve, boston, ma

    bush may be an idiot who doesn't know truth from lie,

    but what is obama's excuse?

    September 30, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Nick

    Yes, the Democrats control Congress, but they only have 59 votes in the Senate. This means every Democrat and at least one Republican have to along with every bill for it to even be brought to a vote. So far, the GOP, has chosen to put politics ahead of people, and simply block nearly every piece of legislation that arrives there from the House, and any legislation Democrats bring up there. I've had enough of the Party of No.

    September 30, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. sibhan

    everyone knows that is the republican base that is old and angry and retired. they have nothing to do but sit home and listen to the wing nut right spew vicious venom from their mouths about our president and his policies. believe me, we will retain control of both the house and the senate, and these psycho religious nuts will dissapear. They just need a good spanking to remind them of what they did. Their rhetoric is made for feeble minds that cant develop past the age of 10.

    How in the right does anyone expect change when the GOP is holding hostage EVERYTHING. They sit their and filibuster, and no doubt talk about the countless number of psychos they hope to have vote for them. You 10 percent of the country that is so out of touch with reality are just loud, but it doesnt meant you have bite. I am sorry you are all offended there is a african american president in office, it is the great fabric of this country that allowed that to happen, and you are all tearing it to shreds trying to "defend" it with your racist rhetoric. Don't forget, even all you regular "folks", as O'Reilly likes to say, were all immigrants at one point too.

    September 30, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Paul from Phoenix

    Dems had 8 months of a filibuster proof senate and got NOTHING done. There is nobody to blame but themselves, but they will blame away anyway.

    September 30, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. fofo

    During the OJ trial, when the DNA was introduced, the jurors were not informed how many people were living on earth, so that they could comprehend that there was no way that another human being on earth would have the same DNA as OJ.
    The democrats need to treat American people like grade school children and give them an actual number rather than a percentage because most of them don’t know how much 3.5% of 250,000 is. Democrats need to get down to basics with Americans and inform them that the end of tax cuts for those who are making 250K/year would translate to 20/day. So instead of $685/day they would be making 665/day, as simple as that.
    The reason most of these Right Wing, red neck Christians liked Bush and adore Sara Palin was because they could relate to these illiterates since they spoke non-sense like them.
    Democrats get down from your pedestal and reach Americans commoners.

    September 30, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Steven

    I think a lot of people out there are like me. Although I am a surgeon, the way things have gone with more and more taxes to the feds, states, counties and cities, I consider myself middle class. Sixty percent of my income goes to these taxes and they all want more. I'll vote for anyone who is willing to fight this trend.

    September 30, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    The same old tired spin master at it again. Oh yeah, and he's being paid load$ by taxpayers so that he can issue propoganda and Dem talking points.

    Novermber

    September 30, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Thank God I am a Democrat

    "I guess the Dems got tired of using the word "inherited" and now are starting on "hostage". Seems like they pick a word and use it just like a baby gets a new toy and uses it over and over until he get a new toy. I can't believe the people we have controlling our government!!!!"

    Oh you mean like the GOP use the word NO!!!!

    September 30, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. camper

    What a superficial idiot.

    September 30, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Byrd

    It would be nice if some of these billionaires who run this country would speak out and tell the republicans that they really don't need the relief, but then most of them made their money on the backs of the poor anyway. Warren Buffet pays less taxes than his assistants and personally makes hundreds of times more than any of them. So where's the fairness there? And where's Buffetts voice when it really counts? No, he's just like all the rest and will sit back and watch this country go down the tubes. Then he'll just move to another country or buy himself an island somewhere. Ain't Amerika great?!

    September 30, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Judgement

    @True American, So its the GOP's fault that the Dems have demonized businesses/capitalism and raised taxes to the second highest corporate tax rate in the WORLD! So because of this and other companies around the world that are moving to these areas to try to remain compeditive, it is the GOPs fault that companies move over seas to be able to compete? So by that logic they should all be shakled here till they go out of business and can't employ anyone. Good thinking, if your are a moron.

    September 30, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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