Tax cut compromise becoming first debate of GOP presidential campaign?
December 15th, 2010
10:41 AM ET
11 years ago

Tax cut compromise becoming first debate of GOP presidential campaign?

Washington (CNN) - Add Rep. Mike Pence to the list of possible 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls who are coming out against the tax cut compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders.

Pence took to the floor of the House Wednesday morning to spell out his opposition:

"Since last summer I have urged this congress to take action to prevent a tax increase that would affect every American in January of next year. So I rise with a heavy heart this morning to simply announce to my colleagues that I believe the short term tax deal negotiated by the White House and congressional leaders is a bad deal for taxpayers, will do little to create jobs and I cannot support it. Despite the fact that last November the American people did not vote for more deficits, more stimulus or more uncertainty in the tax code that is just what this lame duck congress is about to give them."

Pence, who made similar comments Tuesday on conservative Sean Hannity's radio program, is also co-sponsoring amendment to make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent for all Americans.

The Republican congressman from Indiana's 6th Congressional District easily won re-election last month, beating his Democratic challenger by more than a two to one margin.

The third ranking House Republican then announced that he would step down at the end of the year from his leadership role as Republican Conference Chairman, sparking more speculation that Pence might be gearing up for a White House bid or a run for Indiana governor.

Pence joins 2008 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as possible 2012 White House contenders who have voiced opposition to the deal, which includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans. Without congressional action, those tax cut rates are set to expire December 31.

The compromise would also extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year, raise the estate tax exemption to up to $5 million, with a 35 percent tax rate for inheritances above that level, and continue a series of other tax breaks.

Palin criticized the plan last week on her Twitter account, while Romney Tuesday came out with an op-ed in the USA Today that spelled out his opposition. Hours later, Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who is also weighing a presidential bid, took to the Senate floor to defend the agreement and used his speech to take a veiled shot at potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination who have criticized the deal.

According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this week, 62 percent of Republicans say they approve of the tax cut compromise.

- CNN's Mark Preston and Virginia Nicolaidis contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mike Pence • Taxes
soundoff (22 Responses)

    So how much of Pence's effort is a serious legislative effort and how much is pre-election posturing? If Rep. Pence wants attention maybe he should try Dancing With The Stars.

    December 15, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Rob R

    Of course he approves of extending the tax cuts since Republicans don't believe that lower taxes on millionaires amounts to adding to the deficit, but objects to things that affect the middle and lower class such as unemployment benefit extensions which are a pittance compared to how much money is needed to be borrowed in order to make up the loss of revenue from the tax cuts.

    Boehner says Washington doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Well, what he fails to realize is that Washington has to spend money on programs that are enormously popular like Social Security and Medicare, and the military which make up most of the federal budget. So unless he and the rest of his cronies are going to seriously advocate getting rid of Social Security and Medicare, then the government is going to need more revenue to pay for these things – plain and simple.

    December 15, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Pence is an empty suit republican. He offers no help for Americans, but wants to extend the national debt beyond belief by making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. What a worthless tool. He voted for the bank bailouts, and then said he did not, he voted for the illegal war, voted for the unfunded Bush programs, and then tries to tell people he is a fiscal conservative.

    December 15, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Sarah Palin has more balls than Mike Pence, just ask her. Remember Mike is a Washington insider who has a voting record that most people would be ashamed of.

    December 15, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. katiec

    Another republican that has undying support for Wall St, big business and the wealthy.
    Trickle down does not, never has worked, but republicans have abandoned all sanity, honor
    integrity, concerns for the welfare of our country and us and sold us out to corporate America.
    If we survive these next two years, we must never allow them in control again.

    December 15, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Jay

    We're doomed. If politicians just posture for their next election and switch positions for cosmetic reasons they will get nothing that really matters done.

    Sad. This is a wonderful country but stupidity, personal interests, greed, and special interests, are going to bring it to the breaking point (again). The stupid, personal interests, greedy, and special interests, will have plundered what they can in this process. But the many innocents will pay the eventual price.

    December 15, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Robrob

    And the Republicans continue to hold our nation hostage to their political ambitions and the greed of the rich. These tax cuts haven't helped the economy for the ten years they've been in effect. What "magical thinking" will suddenly make them help now?

    December 15, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. Rose

    Way to get the support of the middle class and the unemployed!

    I can't wait for the Tea Party to start putting together bills once January comes. For those of you on Social Security – you better start stocking up on cat food, because they want tax cuts for (m)(b)illionaires, and want to cut Social Security and Medicare to handle the deficit caused by those tax cuts, because according to some of them, these "entitlement programs" are unconstitutional.

    December 15, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. one voice

    This is a lose,lose situation for ANY CROOKED GOP Presidential hopeful to promote tax cuts for the MEGA-RICH that adds 400 BILLION to the deficit in just 2 short years. Now all we have to do is convince the MILLIONS of right-wing supporters that they are voting against their OWN BEST INTEREST. WAKE UP PEOPLE

    December 15, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. John

    Those Republicans just don't know how to take yes for an answer.

    December 15, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. ps

    So Pence is sounding a lot like Mitt – he wants to make the tax cuts permanent, yet states that we don't need more stimulus. He's talking out of both sides of his mouth – typicall politician.

    I would like one member of the press to ask him what the difference between the tax cuts and additional stimulus is? Isn't the right arguing for tax cuts because that will lead to more jobs – isn't that stimulus?

    Which is it Mike – you're not sounding very presidential.

    December 15, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. NVa Native

    "At the end of the day, I've just come to the conclusion: the American people did not vote for more stimulus,"
    Pence and his slacker buddies came to the conclusion the American people are stupid and have no memoery. And worse you think we voted for more of the same country destroying crap you call "Conservative Ideals". You and your klan of self-righteous hypocrites are in the minority of the Senate and not in the White House for a reason clown boy.

    December 15, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Hot Dog

    He endorsed them for the last administration and now he thinks that it is the prudent thing to do. He went along with every thing when the Republicans control both houses of Congress and look where it landed us. No one wants to say it but the Bush administration including the Republican majority that govern during the last eight years did a lot of harm to this country. It is all about money and not what's good for the people.

    December 15, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. Specifics Please ??

    With over 65% of the budget being in Medicare, Social Security, Veterans Affairs and the DEFENSE budget - Mr. Pence - Mr. Republican bigmouth, fiscal conservative - explain to me how you are going to cut spending to eliminate the annual deficit and pay off the NATIONAL DEBT.

    Specifics please? Make sure you have some Perot-like charts with numbers that you can be held accountable for otherwise, don't bother

    December 15, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Emma WI

    Pence, Romney, and Palin...sorry to say they are on the wrong side of this issue & through their opposition, they have secured their fate that they would NOT win the general election should they be the GOP nominee. Their opposition will be spun as willing to let taxes go up on the American people due to hard core ideology. That will turn off EVERY independent voter, like me. We want politicians who know how to work together, and who are willing to do what is right for the country, even if it doesn't fit 100% with their ideology.

    December 15, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    The first question for the panel ought to be:
    "Do you think you have screwed the Country enough yet or is there still money to squeeze out of the few remaining job holding middle class taxpayers?

    December 15, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. PaDoc

    In these uncertain times, the notion of making ANYTHING permanent is absurd. The government needs to keep fluid its ability to adapt to changing parameters. The argument goes that industry needs to know what to expect so that it may adjust investments and business models accordingly. I say adjust for a year and take it from there. Whoever said you need to know exactly what will happen for the rest of your life?? I don’t agree with giving the Waltons an extra thirty some odd billion dollars a year in tax breaks; but, in the interest of compromise, let it be. Let’s get things moving and, Boehner – quit your Godforsaken whining!!

    December 15, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Name king

    GOps are masters of taking something they do or for and turn it around and let it seems like the dems are at fault, they are master politicians, they have the backing of the rich and powerful, and the dems are left to protect a bunch of middle class and poor morans who doesn't know when they are being got, no matter how many times they've been taken advantage of. The rich usually take a major policy and look for the insignificant points and dwells on it over and over again, until the insignificant part of the major policy become the talking point of the whole thing, and the dems are so amateurish, they know what the repugs are up, to and how theyre going to twist things around, since they've experience it dozens of times over the past two years, but they don't seem to know how to stop this, all they can do is bitch about how it's coming, that what the rich and powerful can do to the population, that Is why they can do what they want to do with the american people, because they think we are stupid and they can control our thinking by using their propaganda machine, the media which they control. What is Obama thinking about going against these very powerful institutions, in order to help the middle class and poor. He need to take the route of almost all the presidents, and please the rich because no one gives a hoot about the unfortunates in our society.

    December 15, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    "...I have urged this congress to take action to prevent a tax increase that would affect every American in January of next year ...I believe the short term tax deal negotiated by the White House and congressional leaders is a bad deal for taxpayers..."

    I thought all of the TPs and the RPs and the STUPeeds were all in on this??? But this shows that the RPs are run by the TPs and they are afraid to stand up to them. This is a TRAP and TRICK and while Boehner, McConnell, CAN'Tor (and the other "Followers" you see standing around them at press conferences) are on their WAY OUT!!!! They are NOT LOVED and they will be replaced by the FAR RIGHT.

    The "Sophisticated Stimulus", aka Tax Cuts for the "Rich and Famous" is going to COST the RepubliCAN'Ts MORE than anyone else............They campaigned on this CRAP and looked STUPID while doing so.....BUT yet, they STILL got elected!!!

    The Election of 2010 was NOT ABOUT tax cuts..........It's the Economy and JOBS STUPID!!!! The RepubliCAN'Ts are LOSING because they thought it was ALL ABOUT THEM.................NOT!!!

    December 15, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Danny Cali

    Mike Pence, did you Vote with Democratic last time? I think all your Republican is just "NO" if President Obama didn't make a deal with your GOPer. Mike Pence you still can't get our VOTE man because too late for you to make Americans Vote for you now and all Americans know better than your GOP.

    December 15, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. johnRJ08

    This guy Pence is one of the most arrogant, political opportunists in the Senate. He honestly believes that he's smarter than everybody else, which only adds fuel to his stridency. On top of everything else, his positions are wrong. Lowering taxes does NOT increase revenues or create jobs FOR ANYBODY. That's what George W. Bush thought, and he was wrong about everything. It is ironic that Pence attacks this tax deal while it was he and his party acting in total solidarity to block any other legislation until it was passed. So, now, we can hypocrite to Pence's resume. Oh wait! It was already there.

    December 15, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Chas in Iowa

    Listening to the GOP candidates sceam about job creation all through the elections. They promised to listen to America and go out and generate jobs to put the middle class back to work.
    Now good ol Mitch shows the true GOP colors when he announces that nothing will take place in the Senate until we pass the big tax give away for the rich.

    How come Mitch always looks like he just realised he messed his pants?

    December 15, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |