November 11th, 2010
07:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Sources: Compromise could temporarily extend all Bush tax cuts

Washington (CNN) - An emerging tax cut compromise could be to temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, congressional sources in both parties told CNN Thursday.

Republican and Democratic sources say in this scenario - a short term extension across the board - both sides would be giving ground.

Democrats would compromise on their pledge to let tax cuts for the wealthy expire, and Republicans would give on their promise to make all tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest Americans, permanent.

On its face, the idea appears nonsensical, since Democrats and Republicans agree on permanently extending middle class tax cuts - for those making $250,000 or less.

But GOP sources in particular say keeping tax cuts for the middle class and the wealthier Americans linked may be in their best interest.

They say an idea that had been floating - to "decouple" - is untenable. Under that scenario, middle class tax cuts would be made permanent and tax cuts for wealthy Americans would be extended temporarily.

These GOP sources say that would put them at a political disadvantage in that it would make the discussion all about tax cuts for the wealthy. The sources also say tax cuts for the wealthy would be harder to extend in the future without being linked to middle class tax cuts.

These sources in both parties emphasize that talks have not yet begun in earnest, but the idea would be to extend all tax cuts at least for two years, through the next presidential election, and, they hope, until the economy gets better.

Meanwhile, if the two sides remain deadlocked, some Republican sources say it could be to their advantage to let the cuts expire at the end of the year - for what could be a few weeks - and then take the issue up when the new Congress convenes in January, when GOP lawmakers have more power.

It does seem clear that Democrats know they have a lot more leverage now, and it behooves them to try to cut a deal before the end of the year.

However, the question both Republican and Democratic sources are asking is whether liberal and moderate Democrats who were already divided on the tax cut issue can come together and agree among themselves now, never mind in negotiations with Republicans.

Filed under: Congress • Taxes
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Max

    No compromise. It's about the middle class, stupid! The deficite is on the backs of the middle class. Time for the upper income to pay their dues! Make them pay for their share.

    November 12, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. John

    Just like the Republican worry about Big Business and the Very Rich and Wall Street. You people are going to change it going to be the same thing it was under 8 years of BUSH.

    November 12, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  3. connie fl

    if u cant pass the tax cuts for the richest let it go and replace it with a tax cut for for the middle class. and iwant to see congress give back their raises for th last 2 years and rconstruct their for they cut ss and medicare...put your money where you mouth is...i dont mind givin up somthing for the cuny but main st should be last we are suffering already lead by example...

    November 12, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. Jamie

    It's OUR money, give it back to us. Personally I work two jobs and get (nor do I want) any help from the government. They seem to forget tax money is not their money... it's OURS !

    November 12, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. connie fl

    if you cant pass the bill to end the tax cuts for the richest and give the middle class the break, let it expire and put a new tax cut in for the middlecass. they have had the cuts for 10 years and how many jobs have they created..before they pass any reductions for ss and medicare let congress give back their raises for the last two yrs. and reconstruct their pensions, and have them pay more for their health ins...big savings there im sure...put your money where your mouth is congress

    November 12, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  6. Khandaker

    Extending Bush Tax Cut is very bad idea. This will increase our National Debt. It should expire on 12/31/2010.

    November 12, 2010 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  7. shane

    Why is our current tax code for the past 10 years referred to as tax cuts? instead of calling our tax policy for these years as cuts, wouldn't it be more accurate to say congress is compromising on a deal that won't raise taxes? Or, congress needs to act to avoid raising taxes. Or, democrats want to raise taxes on wealthy while mainting or extending current tax policy for middle class. tax cuts implies lowering current tax policy. Just saying,

    November 12, 2010 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  8. JR

    Bush deserves a capital 'B'

    November 12, 2010 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  9. chris

    So let me get this straight.
    Guantanamo is still open, still no public option, still no foreign competition for medical drugs, and now the dems are considering not lifting the tax cuts for the wealthy.

    November 12, 2010 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  10. Aaron

    The compromise is coming from the Dems, not the Repubs, as usual.

    November 12, 2010 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  11. unretired05

    I would be happy to go back to the tax levels of the Clinton years. I retired in Clinton's last year. After the Bush taax cuts I had to go back to work to make ends meet. His policies were so great for business that the company I retired from stumbled and was bought out by another company, so no raises and they terminated our health care insurance etc. The CEO walked off with 22 million after a couple years of service, but there was no money raise my $2200 pension. If the only way to get the rich to pay their share is to let all the tax cuts expire then do it. It is worth it to save SS and cut the debt for our Grand kids.
    Most of the rich use the loopholes they bought oops, I mean that congress provided so they could invest in the workforce of other countries oops, I mean to invest in our workforce.
    I don't mind paying my fair share as long as the rich do too. I just hope they aren't the ones deciding what their "fair" share should be. My experience has always been that the rich undervalue the effort of the poor and overvalue their contribution.

    November 12, 2010 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  12. Larry

    Here's an idea why not make the richest ppl in america starting from richest to poorest our entire govt staff down to a janitor position and make them work for free?

    November 12, 2010 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  13. Not fooled

    They have to do it now while they have the House and Senate. Democrats stop backing down! Preesident Obama you are losing your base. Stick to your principles and let the rich pay their fair share. Go after s-corps who have 70,000 employees and make them pay their taxes instead of Zero. Close these ridiculous loop-holes and then and only then your base will have respect for the Democrats again. Sign a petition - Tell President Obama don't cave on the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Nancy Pelosi stick to your principles and pull this off. Harry Reid stick to your principles too.

    November 12, 2010 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  14. monkey drivel


    I mean come on. if you never follow through with what you say you will . . . ephemeral will start to seem like a long term engagement to the Dems.

    November 12, 2010 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  15. cane

    Raise the level from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and quit squabbling. There are a lot more issues that need to be dealt with.

    November 12, 2010 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  16. Rock God

    What? Dems have a supermajority in Congress until January! START TAXING THE RICH!!!! The Bush tax code is what wiped out our economy!

    November 12, 2010 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  17. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    Wow. Does the President's spinelessness know no bounds?

    Does he think Republicans will eventually like him, if he just keeps caving to them on every issue?

    Does Charlie Brown and a football come to mind here?

    November 12, 2010 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  18. Terry P

    Elections over, they are right back to the same old BS

    November 12, 2010 04:42 am at 4:42 am |

    Extend the Bush-era tax cuts..yes, yes that's exactly what we should do. Extend 4 year old tax cuts that got us to where we are right now in the first place. Genius idea.

    November 12, 2010 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  20. KatR

    Our large country has one of the lowest tax rates in the world. I for one am at a point where I would like to see all the tax cuts expire. We're facing the largest deficit in our history. Isn't it time for all of us to help our country?

    November 12, 2010 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  21. Terry

    Good grief, the richest 2% of Americans received $700 Billion in tax cuts and loopholes from Bush and the Republicans back in 1990, and now they want more. I guess this is what they call, "Squeezing blood from a turnip". Take a look south of the Texas Border. Mexico has a similar problem with the richest 2% controlling all of the wealth. Our own CIA has predicted a revolution in Mexico for twenty-five years, all based on the haves screwing the have-nots. America is a third-world type of country, we just have not figured it out yet.

    November 12, 2010 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  22. jules sand-perkins

    Extend all "bush" (as you wrote) tax cuts permanently.
    Don't raise taxes unless we have to fight a war.

    November 12, 2010 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  23. Werty

    Its time for the disagreement among the party to cease and get the country on the right track. The way it was before the Bush era.
    There was a time everyone had jobs and businesses was calling you on your job to recruit. People was able to do alot because they had money.
    What we have today is the politician seeing .who going to win the battle.

    November 12, 2010 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  24. Rob R

    Obama better not cave, because if they allow all the tax cuts to continue, a divided Congress will just keep extending them when they expire.

    Also, if they allow them all to go through, Obama risks further alienating people on the left and could be in serious trouble in November.

    November 12, 2010 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  25. Werty

    The politics need to stop and get the country back to where is was before the Bush era. We didn't have this mess until he took office. The country was not in debt, people had jobs,stock market was up, companies making money, people getting raises,and more.
    All the politicians is disagreeing among themselves, disrespecting the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICAN for the first time in history.
    When the politicians and the President leave office they going to be fine but the American people will be the one still stuffing.
    So stop playing politics and work together
    to turn country around.

    November 12, 2010 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
1 2 3