Democrats and Republicans spar over taxes
December 4th, 2010
10:13 AM ET
12 years ago

Democrats and Republicans spar over taxes

(CNN) - Party lines in the sand deepened Saturday as Democrats and Republicans used their weekly addresses to demonstrate unity over wanting a stronger economy and differences over how to achieve the goal.

Echoing the debate on Capitol Hill, GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois voiced support for extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, while Vice President Joe Biden said tax cuts should be extended only for middle class Americans, or those making under $250,000 a year.

"The current leaders in Congress should not move forward with plans that were just rejected by the American people," Kirk said in the Saturday radio and video address. "These leaders should not raise taxes and risk another recession. Instead, Congress should reduce spending and prevent another tax hike on American taxpayers."

Kirk said failure to extend the tax cuts that are set to expire January 1st hurts the entire economy and means taxpayers, small businesses and investors face economic uncertainty.

Biden agreed that Congress should act, but said tax cuts should only be extended for "middle class families" to ensure the economy continues to grow.

"After a decade in which they lost ground, middle class families can ill-afford a tax hike – and our economy can't afford the hit it will take if middle class families have less money to spend," Biden said Saturday.

Both men also took aim at other legislation that recently failed in Congress.

The vice president expressed disappointment that benefits have not been extended for unemployed Americans, calling it "bad economic policy" and "just simply wrong."

Kirk said Congress should end the use of earmarks, legislative provisions that direct approved funds to a specific project. He called the bill's failure "disappointing" and said Senate Democrats - who overwhelmingly voted against the bill - "disconnected from the American people."

Filed under: Congress • Mark Kirk • Taxes • Vice President Biden
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    Kirk wants to drive our debt with more unfunded republican tax cuts for the wealthy. In the end, he will vote to raise taxes just like the republicans in the house did. Baggers beware, the republicans lied to you and used you like a rented mule.

    December 4, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Indie Woman in Denver

    Sorry, Mr Kirk, but you & your party are the ones who are out of touch with the American people, or at least the vast majority of us, those of us who make less than $250K. You want to sell out our children & grandchildren by increasing the deficits for the sole benefit of rich people, most of whom have not only NOT created jobs but have shipped hundreds of thousands of jobs off shore while the Bush tax cuts were in force. Nice going. Now stop lying!

    December 4, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    I do get tired of republicans speaking for all of Americans, when their tax cuts for the wealthy is only supported by one third of us. Only in the senate can one third be the majority.

    December 4, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. MAhole

    We all know that the republicans only want what is good for the rich. The complete fallacy that a tax cut for them creates jobs has been shown to be a myth that the Mythbusters can't solve. Denounce their smoke and mirrors and stand firm – it will NOT cost you votes in the long run.
    Don't listen to their "chicken crap" – throw it straight back at them. Cover Bone-head and McTortise with it!!!

    December 4, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Rather sickening to hear Lindsey Graham's statement (on the floor of Congress, no less) that millionaires are having financial difficulty making ends meet. Perhaps he isn't aware of the 15 million Americans who are without jobs?

    Many of these so called representives and senators should spend their up coming holiday break working the food pantrys and homeless shelters. It might bring a completely new perspective to the plight of their millionaire friends ...

    December 4, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Any person with $$ sense knows you should NEVER cut taxes durng war (Bush did it twice). Also, you should NEVER borrow money to give ANYONE a tax cut.

    OOur country is in trouble because of unfunded wars (2) and unfunded tax cuta (2). WAKE UP.

    December 4, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Frozone

    Mark Kirk only cares about his millionaire buddies. He could care less about the struggles of people back home in Illinois.

    December 4, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Ken, AZ

    It is now apparent that republicans are going to point to the 2010 election as supporting EVERYTHING they want to do while rejecting any plan that the Democrats put forward. It's strange that when polls support the republican position, they're working for the American people, but when polls don't support their position they're standing on principle. One example is when they say extending unemployment benefits ($12B) would add to the deficit and should be paid for, while extending tax cuts to the top 1% ($700B), which also adds to the deficit, does not have to be paid for. They also argue that the benefits of the extended tax cuts for the rich is job creation, but they did not create jobs over the past 10 years that the cuts have been in effect. What Bull!

    December 4, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Dennis

    Once again Republicans are willing to tell the HARD WORKING MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS to go pound sand so they can canter to their 2% buddies, who made all their money off the backs of the middle class and the taxpayer. NICE!!!

    December 4, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. e01938

    The GOP are truly shills of the rich. It is NOT going to trickle down.

    December 4, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. concerned

    I believe that "IF" the tax cut was exited from one million and below then perhaps the jobs could get better and this would be a good compromise >>> both parties >>> should try to come to an agreement that would be of benefit to the American people.

    December 4, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. George

    700 trillion dollars should be spent for job creation and economic development. NOT to give to people who are already rich,
    at middle class taxpayer's expense.

    December 4, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Hot Dog

    It is a amazing how these people pretend to have the best interest of our nation at heart when really they do not. The taliking point that the Republicans use to support the tax cut for the rich makes no sense. When the people of this country take it to the streets and protest like the people in Europe are doing then may be our elected officials will get the point. This thing of not wanting the President to be successful because he is an African American, Democrate or the differnce between this ideology versus the other party's ideology makes makes no sense. Today's elected officials do not know how to work through their differences and do what is right for the country. Consequently, the entire country suffers because of racism or the power mongering that exist between both parties.

    December 4, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Leon Childs

    Republicans say they want what the American people want, but all polls are showing the want the Tax cuts that the DEMOCRATS have put in place. Now they are going to say owe we are standing on our principles. This last election was so ridiculous for the American people to hand things right back to the party that got us into this mess, so I do not only blame the republican party but I blame us as a whole for being so dumb or is it because it is a black man in office.

    December 4, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. crywaterbaby

    I consider what the Republicans are doing is not only unethical but also dereliction to duty and abuse of power. The needs of the many out way the needs of the few and honestly the few do not need. I dare say that no one in the top 2% have any worries about how they are going to pay their bills, how they are going to keep a roof over their heads, how they are going to feed themselves and their children, or whether or not they can afford to go to the doctor. The tax cuts the top 2% have had for the past 10 years has given them the opportunity to create jobs in this country and have failed to do so, to believe they will do so now is insane.

    December 4, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Bill from GA

    Let them all expire. We have gotten out of every recession since WW2 with much higher tax rates than those left by Bill Clinton. We can do it again.

    If we want a great country, somebody has to pay for it. Maybe it should be all who benefit from living and working in America.

    December 4, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. LIP

    Joe said it best...just for the middle class Americans. It is interesting that Joe unwittenly reinforced the idea that middle class americans annual income ceiling ends at $250k. This says that those making over $250k annually is "that wealthy nasty rich class of people we all want to be" If that is the case, then Joe is saying that those that create jobs make less than $250k annually (not) and we really need to reward those people creating jobs. We either raise the ceiling to maybe $1million annually to really include those that create jobs or pass the whole thing, unchanged to make sure we reward those that make those jobs possible. These people are sitting on their hands right now, not doing anything because of the economy and until congress passes the bill either with a change for the middle class ceiling or as is, this economy will remain as is for another 5-10 years...want to wait? Contact those Democrats that are holding us hostage and get them to work with the Republicans to fix the problem, one way or the other, but not to try to continue on with the class action warfare.

    December 4, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Bill from GA

    We all expect to pay more for a great house or a great apartment. We expect to pay more for the best car. What idiot thinks we can have a great country without paying for it?

    GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois and his repug cronies know better. They just lie to further enrich their wealthy supporters, at the expense of future Americans.

    December 4, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. sick of republicans.....made a mistake voting for them this time...never again

    i do not understand the double standards used by the republican party....for health care when 52% of nation is against it theyre like – the people are against it so repeal when the majority of country is against extending the tax cuts for everyone and wants repealing of DADT they suddenly dont believe the people should be listened to

    ....and wasnt cutting taxes what caused us to be in the economic recession now (along with other factors of course such as 2 wars)....i mean taxes are needed for every nation in order to support itself.....people cant expect to not pay for taxes yet continue receiving all government benefits

    its sad that the republican party cannot see how americans like me, without a job, are struggling....instead theyre focused on protecting their rich buddies.....well thanks to boehner and his cronies they have lost my trust......count my vote for presient obama for 2012 election.....i shall never trust republicans again

    December 4, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Gil

    Stop the damn bush wars and we could save $2 trillion and accomplish something rather than have American lives wasted and more terrorists created.

    December 4, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. katiec

    No one can have any doubt about what the republicans really are, who and what they represent, and their lack of caring and concern about the welfare of us and our country.
    With their goals of destroy our president, win at any cost regardless of consequences have put them well on the path of becoming our country's most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    December 4, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |