November 14th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod refuses to discuss tax cut compromise

(CNN) - Given another chance to clarify remarks about extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, a White House adviser refused to discuss a possible compromise during Congress' lame duck session.

But Senior Adviser David Axelrod left the door open for discussion with Republicans on a temporary extension deal.

Axelrod said the administration's priority was to renew tax cuts for the middle class, now set to expire at the end of this year. He also said the country could not afford to permanently extend tax cuts for Americans making over $250,000 a year.

But when pressed by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, Axelrod did not expressly rule out temporarily extending tax cuts for all Americans.

"I'm not going to negotiate with you on this program," he told Wallace.

Axelrod caused a flurry last week when he seemed to suggest the White House was ready to concede to Republican demands on extending tax cuts for the wealthy.

"We have to deal with the world as we find it," he told The Huffington Post.

But in South Korea, President Obama sharply denied that suggestion.

"That is the wrong interpretation because I haven't had a discussion with Democratic or Republican leaders," Obama said.

Axelrod echoed his words Sunday.

"I'm telling you what the president's position is," Axelrod said on NBC's Meet the Press. "We need to move forward on the middle class tax cuts. We cannot afford a permanent extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which would cost us $700 billion that we don't have over the next 10 years."


Filed under: David Axelrod • Taxes
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Fladabosco

    Those poor people who are making over $250,000! The Bush years were so hard on them. But tell me please why is it that when they get a tax break it's good for the economy and they deserve it but when there is a tax cut or benefit for the middle class all the conservatives (even the dumb ones who make less than 250 grand) call it redistribution of wealth. The last ten years have been all about the rich skimming money from the middle class.

    November 14, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Kenneth Close

    Olive branches from Democrats to Republicans but a compromise that is a distant future. We have just heard 6 months of Public discussion now is the time to act one way or another so that you as Representatives of the Republic " Agree or Disagree" can look in the mirror in the morning and be proud of where you stood on an issue.

    November 14, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Axelrod seems to once again be having a problem of articulating ... permanent vs temporary ... Let me be clear: Should Obama extend, even temporarily, Bush's tax cuts to the upper 2%, he will lose many, many voters, myself included. We in the middle class have nothing left to give. We have lost our 401K savings, we have lost our jobs, we have lost our pensions. Many millions have lost their homes. We in the middle class are living the results of 8 years of tax cuts for the wealthy. It isn't a matter of what we want anymore; how disciplined we are, or where our priorities lay fiscally. It is a matter of survival. Ours.

    November 14, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    It's NOT HIS JOB TO MAKE POLICY!
    Neither is it his job to announce policy before it IS policy.
    He serves the President, at the pleasure of the President... Expecting him to disclose (if he even knows) what the President might do, before he "makes the deal" would completely undermine any negotiating ability the President might have.

    November 14, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. jeb

    "Axelrod seems to once again be having a problem of articulating ... permanent vs temporary ... Let me be clear: Should Obama extend, even temporarily, Bush's tax cuts to the upper 2%, he will lose many, many voters, myself included. "

    so who would you then vote for? Sarah?

    November 14, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Ancient Texan

    Everyone got a tax cut under the Bush tax cuts. People making $50,000 will pay an additional $2940 in taxes if allowed to expire. Also, 70% of all small business owners file as individuals and in this situation facing incresed taxes, plus the load of Obamacare cost, increased state and local taxes and fees being forced on them because of unfunded mandates from the federal government makes it impossible to add employees or expand. A small business doing only $250,000 is not rich.

    November 14, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Monster Zero

    Simple response to the tax question FAIR TAX. KARA and MEB, nice try at a response however cutting defense spending while engaged in two wars makes about as much sense as raising taxes on anyone during an economic disaster. Further, do you really believe that Roe vs Wade will ever be overthrown making it impossible to get an abortion, let alone for scenarios of incest, mother welfare or rape? Get real...do you want the Christian beliefs America was built on to be minimized while arguing that Islam along with its oppressive fundamentals be embraced? Liberal thinking befuddles me for the lack of logic, it reminds me of the Hindu's in India starving to death while worshiping a steak dinner as it walks down their dirt road, now good day and don't forget to spay and neuter your cats and dogs.

    November 14, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. shannon

    I can't believe this is even a discussion, the upper 2% have not created jobs, we've lost 10 million since the Bush tax cuts went into effect, those tax cuts for the wealthy will add 700 billion to the deficit, we need to get rid of them. The Republicans want to protect the rich, and if Obama caves on this, I will not be supporting him in the next election. This is to important. They Republicans say they want compromise, what compromise are they talking about. They want those cuts for the rich, or nothing. Dems, grow a spine!

    November 14, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. ken

    700 billion to the defecit, no jobs created, end the tax cuts.

    November 14, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Dave

    We have to deal with the world as we find it, and the lack of leadership from BO on this and DADT means I will not again vote for BO.

    November 14, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Indie Woman in Denver

    Wish he'd refused to talk aboout it last week, instead of weakening the President's bargaining position.

    November 14, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Sam Sixpack

    For the past two years, it has been your Democrat heroes who have been stealing your money. You think these guys are some kind of champions for the impoverished? Guess again. Poverty has skyrocketed during the past two years and you haven't heard word one about it. Your heroes don't care about the poor and they don’t care about you. You can't trust ANY of your "leaders" - including the shills in the press who keep telling you what to think.

    November 14, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Forrest

    If Sarah Palin is the candidate, I will vote for for Obama. If it is ANYONE else, i'll be voting for them instead. Palin really would be the best thing to happen to Democrats.

    November 14, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Frank

    Until you wake up every morning knowing that the $250,000 you make each year pays for your staff of 5 part-timers who need the job to put food on the table; you can't judge those of us that do. I pay more in taxes than most because the percentage is higher. I don't get to "write-off" everything, and to top it all off, what my business makes counts as my personal income. So, when I'm writing the checks to the part-timers, and paying the monthly tax deposits I have to make for the "privilege" of employing people, and paying the income taxes I pay, paying the unemployment taxes, collecting the sales taxes for the state, and paying the worker's compensation employment insurance that goes into a state fund, I'll pray for the common sense of our politicians to make a distinction between $250,000 income making someone personally rich and $250,000 for a small business owner employing people so they can put food on their table.

    November 14, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. independent

    You find this controversial?
    Rendition is controversial. Legal torture is controversial. Deficit spending and tax cuts together may be controversial.
    An aide not willing to discuss a topic soon to involve most elected branches of the government is not controversial. Come CNN editors, stop making things up.

    November 14, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Purnell

    The people on the bottom have to create a condition of no peace until there is once again a living wage. This means organizing, strikes, solidarity. The people on the top are not going to give back whaty they have stolen – so it must be TAKEN BACK.

    November 14, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. joe

    Axelrod is living on borrowed time.

    November 14, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Jeff Groover

    Are all of you people stupid? Tax cuts are lies that everyone has agreed to believe. What we need is a 10% flat tax. They are afraid to do this. They are very afraid to do this. They don't have the guts. Steve Forbes was right and so was Mike Huckabee. A flat tax would resolve all of these issues. Then we have t learn to stay within out budget. Stop all of this BS about tax cuts. What we need is a flat tax. None of these liars in congress has the guts to do it.

    November 14, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. therealmarie

    Members of the obama administration should refuse to go on opinion news TV such as CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews etc. for the remainder of his tenure and beyond all Dems. should. These corp. owned rightwing protectors are not interested in truth or fact, they are interested in 'gotcha', spin and high school trival nonsense to fill in the commercial sponsered segmenst. Truth equals lies, up is down is what they will have the viewing public believe by saying something long enough and loud enough. President Obama should take a page out of the TeaBaggers playbook and simply not go on the 'Lamestream' Media circuit. Now, that is about the only thing that I will agree with Queen Palin. The media is very Lame.

    November 14, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    so who would you then vote for? Sarah?

    Perhaps not Sarah, but a 3rd party candidate, yes, if need be.
    ----------
    "Until you wake up every morning knowing that the $250,000 you make each year pays for your staff of 5 part-timers who need the job to put food on the table; you can't judge those of us that do."

    The tax cuts for the upper 2% of the wealthy have nothing to do with small businesses ... something I suspect you already know. Unless, of course, you are speaking of your DOMESTIC help?

    November 14, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. katiec

    Watched Meet the Press.
    Axlewood was pounded, disrespected in all his comments by Gregory, but when McCain came on he practically licked his boots.
    See this happening every week. It sure would be nice to find unbiased commentators somewhere.

    November 14, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    That's right Axelrod, don't negotiate with the media, let the Republicans come to the table and watch their heads spin.

    November 14, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. katiec

    Whoops, meant Axlerod.

    November 14, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Ouch

    Gee, I sure am glad that we elected this Axelrod fella to make all of these tough decisions.

    November 14, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Randy

    “Good morning America! Wake up and smell the coffee! The Democrats are secret Republicans. They are all paid by the same corporate and wealthy donors so why do so many Dems remain denial? Maybe they are unable to think critically just like the Tea Baggers.”

    November 14, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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