Durbin goes after Boehner on GOP tax stance
September 18th, 2011
11:09 AM ET
10 years ago

Durbin goes after Boehner on GOP tax stance

(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin pointed his political arrow at House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday over the Republican Party's tax stance.

"I wonder if John Boehner knows what it sounds like when he continues to say the position of the Republican Party in America is that you can't impose one more penny in taxes on the wealthiest people," Durbin said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I wonder if he understands how that sounds in Ohio, to working families who are struggling paycheck to paycheck."

While President Barack Obama has a plan to address job creation and the rising national deficit, Republicans "continue to criticize any effort to step forward and do something positive to move this economy," the Illinois senator said. Durbin said the president's $447 billion jobs bill will likely arrive on the Senate floor for consideration next month.

His criticism comes the day before President Obama is set to unveil the details of a separate comprehensive deficit reduction plan that would include a proposal to ensure wealthy Americans pay the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle-income Americans. Few details of the so-called Buffett Rule, a new tax rate for people earning more than $1 million a year, were available Sunday.

But Boehner, as recently as last week, reiterated his opposition to any tax increases as part of a deficit reduction package, making passage of such a bill difficult in the Republican-controlled House.

On the CNN program Sunday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the Buffett Rule is a "political move by the president" and an example of class warfare by the Obama White House.

Durbin, however, insisted that the plan is not a political move intended to paint Republicans as protectors of the wealthy.

Looking ahead to the president's jobs legislation, Graham left the door open to considering the payroll tax cut and some infrastructure spending in the plan, but said those steps will only spur job creation in the short term.

“You can have all the stimulus you want. Until you change Obama’s policies that have frozen job hiring that’s made everything worse, we’re going to stay right where we are, bumping along the bottom,” Graham said.

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soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. terry,va

    It is such an honor to comment on the "official Obummie campaign website" Obummie is a divider not uniter. All Obummie knows is wealth redistribution. His policies are out of the socialist playbook. He has become the foodstamp president. As usual, my comments are awaiting moderation,

    September 18, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. asm_ith

    How can Name king say "the tax cuts to the super rich is not working"? Of course it is working if you use a certain definition of "working"; it works just great for the super rich and corporations. It's just as absurd as when they talk about the economy recovering because corporate profits are up; again, this gets into definitions: is the measure of a good economy simply the money made by corporations and the very wealthy, or is it how the average person is doing? Unfortunately, we all know the answer to that.

    September 18, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. LordofShalot

    "No matter who you are or who you support there is no denying that america and americans are broke! we can no longer afford to have the .3% of the wealthiest people to enjoy all the perks while the middle class pays for the bill. So GOP, Grow some balls, for the sake of the country you tell us you love and agree to put this dam revenue on the table or our country will continue to suffer less"
    You do realize, victoria, that the .3% of the wealthiest people in America pay much, much more in taxes than the middle class, don't you? Where do you get the idea that the middle class is getting screwed by paying more taxes than the rich? The truth is that the top 5% of the tax bracket pays for 60% of America's taxes. If you think that's a "perk" to being rich, you really have no idea what you're talking about.

    September 18, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Everythingdies

    Trying to have a rational political discussion with a republican is like giving a pit viper a prostate exam.

    September 18, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    OH-Dummy terry,va – You are a CLASS ACT of fools!! Keep up the good IGNORANCE!!! You can't even capitalize your Name or the State you are from!!! And, if this is the "official Obummie campaign website" – then why are you here?

    Obama/Biden 2012!!

    September 18, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Question

    Well now that you bring it up Graham, the GOP started the "class warfare" a long time ago when the party forced through most of the tax breaks now afforded to millionaires. So I guess that in keeping with Graham's logic, eliminating all the tax breaks for millionaires makes sense to the GOP, right? Yeah, right.

    Here's a question: Does anyone know what the majority of the millionaires in this country have to say about paying the same percentage in taxes as the middle class? I'm sure some support the idea, and I'm sure many don't. But what is the breakdown? Has anyone surveyed that group of Americans on how they feel about this? Seems to me that if the majority of them are OK with this idea, then Graham and the rest of the GOP leaders should shut up and truly represent their states.

    September 18, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. FM

    In countries where they have a stable economy, have what is called: PAYE = Pay As You Earn.
    Those who earn more or make a mega profit from business, they pay taxes accordingly. Those who earn little, pay that little in tax and those who have almost nothing are excused from any tax!

    September 18, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. nyhoukcdal

    First, excessive tax rates on the rich ARE stagnating. That's why Reagan's cuts worked. But a 35% top marginal rate is NOT excessive when income is in the millions, even assuming that income is an actual paycheck and not capital gains (15% rate). Bump it to 40% on income and 20% on dividends/capital gains over $100K. Nothing meaningful will change for the ultra-rich, and revenue will improve somewhat. Secondly, stop cutting the payroll tax! Shortsighted nonsense.

    @FourandTheDoor, Boehner is from Ohio, that's why Durbin singled it out. Durbin is trying to reach Ohio voters to pressure/oust Boehner, same as the GOP is trying to motivate the nation to oust Obama.

    September 18, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. john

    when are you people going to understand that there is not a tax problem there is a SPENDING PROBLEM. tax the rich until their broke and then what? beg more for from china?

    September 18, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Dr.K.

    You can always tell the deep thinkers by their use of childish nicknames for people and parties they don't like...

    September 18, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. blessings

    Wishing all the Republicans and Tea Party well. You will never be convinced that the Democrats do really want us all, I repeat, All to do better. You call it names, but it is simply "fair". Everyone pay their fair share. Why would anyone not want "fair"?

    September 18, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    To all the Repubs who think that having to pay income tax is terrible and that we should eliminate taxes on the wealthy and corporations to "free them up" to create jobs:

    Go live in India. They don't have income tax, but then again, it does have a third of the world's poor, with 41.6% living below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day (US dollars). India also doesn't have much in the way of infrastructure.

    So, yeah, move there and knock yourself out!

    September 18, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Irisrose

    @Terry,VA... you lose all credibility when your only position is name calling. Seriously, how about posting some facts to back up that swill you spout?

    September 18, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. terry,va

    @t'sah,va...glad you came on. You never fail to amaze me. I needed the entertainment. Anyone that knows anything about economics knows Obummie is a fool. You and your NVA idiots will vote for the fool because you believe that the rich should support you. Sorry, my shoulders are tired of supporting people like you. I come on CNN...."the official campaign website" for my daily laugh.

    September 18, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    Here we are debating raise tax or not and Illegal immigrant learn English or not
    UN recognizes Palestine or not low interest rate
    Same time
    China and India high population nations they are setting a goal what they have to archive in 2020, 2030 and 2040
    Their kids are learning English; low price lap tops for students, free education new investments in inventions
    Their economy is growing fast they raising interest rate
    Time for us to give good education to our kids before they carry the burden of our debt

    September 18, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    "America cannot be sustained by taxing just the middle class."

    Especially when the Middle Class is shrinking because of the Republican assault on it, in part through their strategy of rewarding companies that outsource jobs and shut down American businesses. (Romney a pro at that, BTW.)

    September 18, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. hypatia

    They all sounds the same: just like the French Aristocrats before the Revolution. Isn't it funny how the thugs keep accusing the Dems of the very things they want like death panels and class warfare.

    September 18, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Victoria

    there are two types of people in this world, like in winnie the pooh, tiggers and eeyores. Obama is a tigger, positive outlook, great personality, bouncing around trying to fix things, while the gop is like eeyore, whining, mopey, no personality, pesimists who sit on their tushes and continue to do nothing. Which type of personality do you want in office? Obama 2012

    September 18, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Jack in Florida

    It's about time!!! We are talking about 3% of the population that is going to have a tax increase.....it is hardly "class warfare" as idiot Ryan is trying to turn the tables. If we all have to give with social security and medicare, then it is time for the wealthiest of Americans to give up their fare share. BTW, it is this country that made them rich.....TIME TO GIVE BACK!! Let's see how the Repubs will spin this.......................................

    September 18, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. jnpa

    Boehner has a problem with increasing tax on the wealthy, but he doesn't seem to have a problem revamping social security and medicare which will taking income from retirees. I don't understand how he can justify that. Very nice Mr. Speaker!

    September 18, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Senses

    you need to create Independent Party to sway the pendulum in the right direction.. no bias, no lobbiests, no nothing .. only what is right ..

    September 18, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. eddale

    I guess the States that have elected republicans to Congress are made up of millionairs. Oh wait, that can't apply to States like Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia.

    September 18, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. jon

    Dick Turbin is repeating the Obama lie, taxing rich people will not reduce the deficit more than 1%...there simply isn't enough millionaires to make a difference in the Democrat out of control spending

    September 18, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Zach Y

    Haha, the republicans try to make it sound like the rich haven't been waging class warfare on the poor and middle class for at least 30 years... Heaven forbid someone should stand up for the little guy and even suggest those at the top contribute more!

    September 18, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Observing321

    The "Class Warfare" which Graham and the GOP seem to be so concerned about must be a "Class Warfare against the Rich". How is evening out taxes for the wealthiest Americans class warfare against all the rest of us?

    September 18, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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