Kaine breaks with Obama on tax cuts
July 10th, 2012
01:27 PM ET
2 years ago

Kaine breaks with Obama on tax cuts

(CNN) - Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia, who once headed the Democratic National Committee, disagreed with President Barack Obama on the president's call to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for households making under $250,000 per year.

Kaine, a former Virginia governor, argued the threshold should be twice as high, at $500,000.

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In a statement Monday, the Senate hopeful said raising the cut-off would protect tax cuts for the middle class and many small business owners, as well as ensure "flexibility to make critical investments" that would strengthen the economy.

"The cuts required to dig out of our fiscal hole will fall hardest on low and middle-income families," Kaine said. "Allowing the tax cuts to expire above $500,000 guarantees that all Americans have a stake in restoring fiscal responsibility and rebuilding our economy."

Kaine's differing opinion comes as he faces a heated race against Republican opponent and fellow former Gov. George Allen, who once held the Senate seat before losing his re-election bid in 2006.

Kaine, who left the DNC chairmanship last year to run for the Senate, is known to have close ties with Obama. The president and former President Bill Clinton headlined a major fund-raiser for the president's re-election effort in Virginia in April, which Kaine attended. And Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a fund-raising event for Kaine in May.

The race, which has largely been underway for the last year, is perhaps one of the most closely watch Senate races, pitting two former governors against each other and taking place in a crucial swing state.

The former governor, however, isn't the only Democrat up for election to push back against the president on the issue.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, whom Biden stumped for at a fund-raising event Monday, said in a statement she is "open" to extending the tax cuts for families that earn up to $1 million, if it's part of a "compromise that helps us get to $4-5 trillion in debt reduction."

Meanwhile, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, also up for re-election, supports permanently extending the tax breaks for "everybody making less than $1 million," his office said in a statement.


Filed under: President Obama • Tim Kaine • Virginia
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Bermille

    Thats not really a disagreement.

    July 10, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Obama would compromise at that number in a heartbeat. Period. Non-story.

    July 10, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Romney Outsource America Jobs

    Kaine that what wrong with the democrat helping the republican to attack president Obama. The democrat party need to get it together. President Obama keep doing a great job helping the middle class we dont need Kaine to tell us about what rich people should pay for taxes.

    July 10, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. AmericanSam

    Because those making between $250,000 and $500,000 are still middle-class? What? They're going to have tons of leftover money even if their tax rate is raised slightly. An opportunity to invest and make money will not deter someone just because they pay 3% or so more in taxes on their income. They'd still want that money.

    July 10, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Maybe Obama should raise it to one million per family and pull the rug out from under the republican bafoon party and romney the clown !!!

    July 10, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. J

    Looks like Kaine makes $250,000 – $500,000 a year.

    July 10, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Good for Tim Kaine !

    July 10, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Why not 1 million? Why not 2 million? CLASS WARFARE

    July 10, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Tim, just stay together intact with Obama, he knows what he is doing. Good luck, buddy. Obama12.

    July 10, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Joe M

    who gives a crap about paying taxes, if they dont start trying to straighten this whole mess out nobodys going to make enough money to pay taxes on

    July 10, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Name edward mosley

    To the comment made by the conservative clair mccaskill, the true reason why she isn't a republican because she can't win a republican primary!! You just worry about winning relection, which you probably won't because us democrats don't like fakes!!!

    July 10, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. mrrational

    People who make 250,000 a year aren't rich? Try telling that to someone who makes 40,000 a year with a college degree. Fair taxes now!

    July 10, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    No big deal here. Kaine wants it at 500k, Sen. Schumer wants it at 1 million. I think the President has it right with 250k. Personally if it were up to me, I'd have them expire for everyone. These tax cuts were meant to be temporary. Now these 1 & 2%er's are addicted to them like the entire country is addicted to oil. Just as we must stop our dependency on foreign oil, so must be the same with taxes. EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE!!!

    July 10, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Silly Baggers!

    I have had it with this guy. Slap an R on him already.

    July 10, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Mikey

    Don't know that a disagreement over the exact threshold is a "break" from the Obama Administration's position.

    Everyone should understand that ALL taxpayers, even the rich, will benefit from the lower taxes on the brackets up to $250,000. For example, take a married couple making a combined $400,000. They probably have something near $100,000 in deductions and exemptions, etc. If their taxable income is $300,000, they would pay the extra 4% on the last $50,000 of their taxable income. So their total increase in taxes would be near $2,000, or about 1/2% of their total income.

    July 10, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA has a FAILURE PROBLEM

    Democrats have NO CLUE when it comes to finances and the economy. All they know how to do is tax and spend, spend and tax, and then borrow tax and spend, with no end or limit in sight. All of this is just a MASSIVE smoke and mirror distraction pitting one segment against another. Even if the "rich" are taxed more, it amounts to $70 billion a year and the deficits are $1300 BILLION. Where is the OTHER $1230 BILLION going to come from Democrats????

    All the Democrats have to offer are distractions and BS, aka smoke and mirrors. NO REAL SOLUTIONS. Which is exactly what Obama ha sshown over the last 4 years.

    July 10, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Dave

    In 2009 Obama said raising taxes would stifle investment in job creation and prolong the recession. I guess we are headed for a depression now!

    July 10, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. JohnW

    This shows one really nice thing about the Democrats over the Republicans; when a member of the party says something that goes against the head of the party, he is not immediately vilified by the party.

    July 10, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. mcskadittle

    he had to make sure that his salary was covered

    July 10, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. dump obama the tax tax tax president

    Hey Obama taxing the job creators is not very bright. Quit play election year politics and cancel the ACA and your regulations that are killing jobs. Why not build the Keystone Pipeline? Afraid the environmental nuts will not vote for you. Believe me you much larger problems than that. Most Americans will not vote for your FAILED programs. November is going to be a very bad month for you and the rest of the liberals. We conservatives are taking our country back.

    FIRE OBAMA 2012

    July 10, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. Sam

    I am an Obama supporter...but I do disagree with him on the tax issue...In places like San Francisco or Manhattan – if a husband and wife make 125000 a year – which is not that unusual – they can't be considered rich! The threshold should be more like 500000.

    July 10, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. stars

    I agree with all of them it should be anyone making less than one million.. because everyone that make over one million have a saftey net.

    July 10, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    I have a better idea. Cut out-of-control government spending. Manage the federal government. Romney 2012.

    July 10, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. CaliforniaBC

    $500,000....?? Why?? Those people are doing fine!! What's a 3% tax increase from the lowest levels in DECADES going to do to people making half million a years???

    July 10, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. WiredweirdinSF

    Does Kaine not realize that most incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady is doing this strictly to give him something to talk about other than his own failures?

    July 10, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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