Gibbs: Obama 100% committed to expiring Bush tax cuts
July 8th, 2012
12:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Gibbs: Obama 100% committed to expiring Bush tax cuts

(CNN) – A top adviser for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign said Sunday the president was entirely dedicated to ending the so-called Bush tax cuts for the wealthy at the end of this year.

"He is 100% committed to it," Robert Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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Obama signed a bill in 2010 to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, citing the need for economic stimulus at the time, but has since vowed he would not permit another extension.

The tax breaks are set to expire in what's known as the "fiscal cliff," a package of spending cuts and removal of tax breaks that will take place on January 1 if Congress fails to act. In total, $7 trillion could be taken out from the economy.

Tax breaks that would end include the Bush tax cuts, middle class protection from the Alternative Minimum Tax, and more than 50 "temporary" tax breaks for individuals and businesses that have been on the books for years.

For its part, the White House has proposed raising taxes on the very wealthy as a way to help make a dent in the federal deficit.

"Let's make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people that quite frankly don't need them, tax cuts that haven't worked and have them pay their fair share," Gibbs told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

The so-called "Buffett Rule," named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, would impose a minimum 30% tax rate on those making more than $1 million. The measure, however, was blocked in the Democratic-controlled Senate in April.

On the campaign trail, the president continues to call for a tax increase on the wealthy, arguing they need to pay their "fair share."

"We have got to make sure that those of us who can afford to do a little bit more - because we have been so blessed by this country - that the wealthiest among us can pay a little bit more to help close this deficit," Obama said at a campaign stop in Poland, Ohio, on Friday.

Republicans, on the other hand, say the solution to the country's deficit problems should center on spending cuts and further tax breaks.

Asked on Sunday about the looming fiscal cliff, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would be a mistake for Obama to override a Republican-led bill in Congress to extend the cuts, should it make it to the president’s desk.

"The president shouldn't veto that," he said on the same CNN program. "This is the same president who signed the very same thing two years ago with the argument to do otherwise would make the economy worse."

– CNNMoney's Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Debt • Deficit • President Obama • Robert Gibbs • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    As a result of extending the Bush era tax cuts to the 1% look at all the money they've been able to throw at Romney because Romney will give it right back to them and you pay. Mitch McConnell, R-majority leader, just said today the Bush era tax cuts must be extended forever.

    July 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Good!! The "job creators" have had enough time. Where are the results? Where are the jobs?

    July 8, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Glen

    I don't like Romney, but am not a huge Obama fan either. I do think disclosure is important, however, who cares where he invests his money. I invest in Chinese telecom companies. Does that make me unpatriotic? Being from a non-swing state I can only look to a handful of states to make a difference anyway!

    July 8, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. canadian59

    Equality and liberty for all is what America stood for...its now its no more. .American Dream is dead....you already have political...citing rich versus poor...this is very discouraging ..but encouraging for the lazy .....and the party that encourages Americans to be dependent on govt. rather than independent of Govt....look at Europe today...well....good luck (Un)United States of America

    July 8, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Frank

    Federal income taxes currently represent less as a percentage of GDP than they did in 1959. That was before Medicare and Medicaid. It is shameful that Congress lowered taxes while fighting two wars on a credit card and blew away three years of budget surpluses inherited from the 1900s (and Clinton).

    July 8, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Lmb

    I am happy to pay taxes for services as varied as police, schools, infrastructure, and more. As a 1%er I have never understood why rich people object to helping others. Many simply do not understand that more money will not make them any happier. I also donate to various non-profits, and it is a wonderful feeling to be able to support those who need assistance. Just make sure my taxes aren't wasted on "pork" that only helps re-elect politicians!

    July 8, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    Good. You can cancel my tax ciut as long as you make Donald Trump pay his fair share.

    July 8, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. w l jones

    Strange Strange again 7 trillion dollar that would add teachers,polices ,fireman and inforstrution building across the country would add a protention 49 trillion dollar to our over all economy. Bring it on because well over due. Bless.

    July 8, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. DG

    I hope Obama and the Dems are successful in letting the Bush tax cuts for wealthy expire, so that the tax rates for the wealthy can go back to where they were under President Clinton. That's when we had a huge record surplus, 23 million new jobs created, $1.30 gal gas, a very solvent social security trust fund, etc. etc. Then Bush steals the election by a 5-5 US Supreme Court stopping the recount in Florida, and Bush and his Republicon cohorts squandered all this on their tax cuts for the wealthy, illegal war in Iraq based on a lie, all to help Cheney's Halliburton and other defense contractors, rip the American people off, deregulation of big oil, banks and Wall Street, etc. etc. and the rest is history. Bush and his Republicons left Obama a total and complete destruction of our economy.

    July 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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