FIRST ON CNN: Obama, Dems drop millionaire surtax to pay for payroll tax cut
December 14th, 2011
05:29 PM ET
2 years ago

FIRST ON CNN: Obama, Dems drop millionaire surtax to pay for payroll tax cut

(CNN) - In what would be a major concession, President Obama and Senate Democrats will drop their insistence that a surtax on millionaires pay for extending the payroll tax cut, a Democratic source tells CNN. This would be part of a new Democratic offer.

The move comes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other top Senate Democrats met with President Obama at the White House earlier today.


Filed under: Congress • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Emperor Norton

    You know that image macro that's just a huge collage of characters from films, television, and animation letting their faces drop into their palms in dismay and chagrin?

    That's how I feel about this. Way to flinch, Obama.

    December 14, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Very good decision by the Democrats. And very good work by the Republicans in congress for holding your ground on this one. I still don't agree with the idea of de-funding Social Security just because it is a convenient way to make nice with a huge majority of voters leading into an election year.

    December 14, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Silly Baggers!

    Unbelievable. When will our Dem reps stand firm. I would have rather they stand firm on this and let the tax go up. The one thing I have to give the GOP credit for. They are not scared to play chicken to get their way. It's time the Dems took a page out of that playbook.

    December 14, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Phil in KC

    What do we get in return? This is why Obama is having trouble within his own party. He caves in too easy. Negotiations are one thing – a give and take; quid pro quo. But, when the party in the minority is dictating and you're giving in, well that's just capitulation. That's why many Dems are less than enthusiastic about the next election. Most of us will vote for Obama simply because he is better than the alternative. But many will just not bother to go to the polls. And that is a big problem. A move like this isn't helping.

    December 14, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    I said I was nervous about this issue yesterday. I was right. I knew it would go this way.

    December 14, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    ROPE. Watch how the GOPers gather it.

    December 14, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "What do we get in return? This is why Obama is having trouble within his own party. He caves in too easy. Negotiations are one thing – a give and take; quid pro quo. "

    And someone has to be the big person...the LEADER...and make an offer to do so first. When it's met with a refusal to make any like-kind exchange and demands from GOPers/Teatrolls that it's still their way or the highway, they officially stick their heads in the noose for him...and this is how it was assured that the polls showed the GOP was blamed for the debt ceiling debacle and other shutdown fights. If they refuse to compromise in any reasonable way now, they take all the blame in public opinion. If they still insist on their pipeline and the cuts that would harm the middle-class, then Obama gets to retract the offer in compromise and point at the GOP's recalcitrance and rigidity and ideologically driven, politically motivated refusal to compromise. They fall for it every time.

    December 14, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Me

    Obama and the Democrats need to stop compromising with the GOtP. You compromised when you had a super majority. You are compromising now. STOP GIVING IN. IT MAKES YOU LOOK WEAK

    December 14, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Newturd

    Excellent, now can we get to the real issue, the astronomical amount of money spent each year for this bloated goverment. Maybe if we do some real cuts in spending we can actually cut taxes as opposed to raising them. National Debt is increasing at $2M per minute (look it up if you don't beleive me). The only person in this race with a solid plan to correct the ship is Ron Paul. He is sadly the last hope for America. At the $2M per minute pace, the next election will be too late to save this country. But all good things must come to an end I guess, or at least that must be the opinion of Obama, Newt and Romney. None of them care about the deficit or even have a solid plan to reduce it.

    The debt comittee couldn't even come up with $1.4 Trillion in cuts over 10 years which incidently would not have reversed course on our bankruptcy, just postponed it a few years. Ron Paul will cut $1T in the first year of his presidency. Those are real cuts, cuts this country so desperately needs.

    December 14, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Gurgi

    Someone had to force the democrats to be sensible. Now they need to work on getting companies to bring jobs back to America by not making it so profitable for companies to move jobs overseas.

    December 14, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Deeb

    OMG....once again...the Democrats are caving!!! Stop it for goodness sake!!! Let the taxes go up!!! It'll be on the Republicans head and give them even more rope to hang themselves come next election.... Stop giving in to these bullies! They will do WHATEVER it takes to protect their millionaire interests...why don't you call their bluff? Yes...it would mean that my taxes would go up too, but I'd rather see you guys stand up for what's right than cave it to these punks...Geez...

    December 14, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. Name king

    When will the dens figure out that every thing the repubs cooked up with always fails. Lesson the country is getting more impoverished while the rich is seeing the best times of their lives. The last time this happened the great depression was upon us. Lesson we need to tax the rich so that money can come down to the common man, to spend at our local small businrsses. I am sick and tired of the rich sucking this country dry of our money and wont invest back into our country so that the money circulate. They rather invest in other country as our is left dryof revenue.

    December 14, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Phil in KC
    What do we get in return?
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    An extension of the payroll tax cut.

    December 14, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    "That's why many Dems are less than enthusiastic about the next election. Most of us will vote for Obama simply because he is better than the alternative. But many will just not bother to go to the polls. And that is a big problem. A move like this isn't helping."

    There would have been even less going to the polls had the middle class seen a tax increase. Start living in the real world and quit whining. You are playing right into the Republicans hands ... something most Democrats have been more than willing to do time and again. Reference Four and the Door. All blather, no substance. Makes one sick to read his crap ... yet, all Democrats seem to do is whine. Same program, different channel, little difference. GO TO THE POLLS AND VOTE THE REPUBLICANS OUT, or sit and whine and whimper. You make the call. We are where we are because too many whined and cried in 2010. It's on each and everyone of you who "made a statement" back then. Live with it, or keep making that same statement and see just how worse it can, and will, get.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 14, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. mk1

    Phil, totally agree. We were strong Obama supporters in 08' and have been disappointed many times since. When will Dems get some backbone and actually stick up for the American people and stop letting the Reps control the debate. This is why there is so much apathy on the Dem side, they do not see the Dems actually working for us. I would still never vote for any of the Reps running. As poor a job I believe President Obama may be doing, we would be in far worse shape had McCain won, and would be even in worse shape if any of the Reps actually won next year.

    December 14, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. rs

    Silly mistake.Obama should have held out for the end of the Bush tax cuts on the grounds of fiscal sanity. While the Payroll Tax cut will be important to millions of Americans, the tax cut for millionaires is opposed by 70% of Americans, and even the wealthy class themselves.

    This will no doubt go badly for the Republicans as it fuels the "class warfare" nonsense that will inevitably blow up on them and firmly paints the Republicans as the party of the super-rich and exclusive.

    December 14, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Kris Craig

    Notice how there's no mention of what the Dems got in exchange for this MASSIVE concession? That's because there isn't anything. They bent over yet again, after promising us that they would stand firm for once.

    Obama will not win re-election if he keeps caving to the Republicans like this. The millionaire tax is a given. It's good public policy. An overwhelming majority of Americans support it. And he still caved. This is truly pathetic!

    Shame on you, President Obama and Senate Democratic leadership!! How can you look at us with a straight face and ask for our vote when you refuse to stand-up for the things you promised you'd stand-up for?! Let the Republicans kill the payroll tax cut. Yes, it'll hurt in the short term, but you need to have some faith in the voters of this country. According to every poll that's been done, the Republicans would have shouldered most of the blame for this and paid for it at the polls. Then, with those people gone, you'd be able to pass the tax cut with a fair tax on millionaires.

    Instead, you chickened-out. Again. If your base doesn't turn out come November, this is why.

    December 14, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. jim

    OK, so how are we supposed to pay for it – we being working Americans. Not too many of us left, you know. I am all for cooperation and compromise, but it still has to make sense. Why do I suddenly feel the need for more lubricant? Is it because we are about to get the shaft again?

    December 14, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. SecedingfromTexas

    Well, I hope they know something we don't, and I hope the Keystone project has been ejected. Otherwise. we
    have been had, again.

    December 14, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Scrivener

    Once again the Dems showed their first priority to be keeping wealthy donors', and in many cases their own, taxes low. Even as a coldly cynical political calculation it made sense in today's popular climate to at least appear to fight for taxing the uberwealthy. But no, they chose once again to be seen as lacking spine or some other part of the male anatomy.

    At least with the Repubs one knows exactly where one stands. The Dems pretend otherwise, but it's really all One Big Party, the Cash Party.

    December 14, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Peter

    I think he knows that Reps will drive the car off the cliff if you play chicken with them. They are relentless, and on this stage this is sadly a compliment. Bring back democracy and negotiation!

    December 14, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Thai

    Looking at it as a guy who is liberal on fiscal issues, I am disappointed. But looking at it as an American, this is how compromise works. If one side is truly happy, the other side gave up too much. And believe me, Republicans are not happy either.

    December 14, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. NT

    Glad to hear this. Have any of you asked yourselves when this country came to the point that we would punish success and entrepreneurship? This class warfare has to stop. The US govt. does not have a revenue problem. IT HAS A SPENDING PROBLEM. Even if you were to tax "millionaires and billionaires" as well as the rest of us at 100% (that is take all of our money), the govt. would still run a large deficit. DOES THIS SOUND SERIOUS TO YOU? THE GOVT. HAS TO STOP GROWING LIKE THIS! The US GOVT. of today is involved in too many obligations that are not stated in the constitution. NO COUNTRY CAN MAINTAIN A $15 TRILLION (AND GROWING) DEBT LOAD. THIS IS INSANITY.

    RON PAUL 2012 – SHRINK THE SIZE OF GOVT. INT\STILL FREEDOM< SELF-RELIANCE, ACCOUNTABILITY

    December 14, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. Fed Up

    Our Congress will not stand for taxes on the rich, because they would be taxing themselves. These people may not have come to Washington wealthy, but they leave multi millionaires. While this is going on, the poor and middle classes are being wiped out. Voters will have to do the same as the 2008 election, you have to decide the which is the lesser of 2 evils. We're shafted any way we go.

    December 14, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. gt

    gutless.. just like getting ride of the bush tax cuts... gutless....obama is spinless....

    December 14, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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