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. We Are In Class Warfare . . .

    and the rich are kicking butt.

    September 18, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Observer

    Boehner's two skills: saying "no" and crying.

    September 18, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. bigwilliestyles

    @ four and the door and his ilk: the Bush tax cuts have been in place for ten (10) years. If cutting taxes for the "job creators" produced jobs, then shouldn't the country be knee deep in jobs? But we're not are we? But...corporations are recording record profits (some obscene), huge bonuses and outlandish perks. Rather than invest in the american people, they have shipped untold numbers of jobs to other countries for two very simple reasons: even lower tax rates and lower employee salaries. And don't give me that malarky about them being "afraid to hire because they don't know which way the government is headed". They are lining their pockets, plain and simple. Now I can't say what they should or shouldn't do with their profit, but if these 'masters of the universe' types are the four alarm, five star genius that they would like us to believe they are, how come they don't gather in one of those 'smartest guys in the room' sessions and produce a plan than will create american jobs AND greater wealth for themselves; why does the latter have to come at the expense of the former?

    September 18, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    I strongly support MY Presidient and his efforts to help the working families of our nation. The rich are not sacred cows. Many of these rich being protected by the Republicans are the very ones who brought down our banking system, got bailed out, and then went right back to their corrupt practices.

    President Obama is a real leader, truly cares about the PEOPLE, is a good and decent man who has been constantly slandered and disrespected by Republicans, and they have obstructed every piece of legiislation Democrats have tried to pass to help the PEOPLE – including 3 JOBS BILLS in the past 2 years.

    President Obama's policies have NOT failied – they have been blocked and criticized and LIED about by desperate Republicans who hae NOTHING to offer but hate, lies, disdain for the average family, and have been bought by corporations.

    Repubicans – This is still a DEMOCRACY – for and by the PEOPLE and we will NOT let you turn it into a CORPORATE Dictatorship where the wealthy rule and the rest of us scrape by.

    TAX the RICH FAIRLY, Have Corporations PAY their fair share of taxes (vs ZERO), and, for once, show some respect for the PEOPLE you swore an OATH to SERVE but have betrayed.

    Presdent Obama is our one TRUE LEADER, one HONEST LEADER, and one DEDIICATED LEADER to the welfare and best results for We the PEOPLE. I stand with President Obama and the Democrats – the ONLY ONES WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE.


    September 18, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. RINO Bil

    Hurts to say it, but for once I agree with Dick Durban. Republicans have waged a covert war on middle-Americans for years and now they are whinning about someone actually fighting back.

    September 18, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Mark

    During an economic downturn, when was the last time the head of a company took less money so the workers could stay employed? A person making $30,000 a year that pays 10% tax is left with $27,00 left. A person who makes $300,000 and pays taht same 10% is left with $270,000. Why is that a problem for republicans to understand? The wealthy can afford to pay more and still live comfortably. Maybe they should try reading the bible: "It is easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain heaven".

    September 18, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Debbie

    It is not class warfare and it is evident that poll after poll show this is what the majority of America wants. With that said what the people want and what our government does are very different. Legally, wealthy global corporate $$ has been given power and citizenship by our US Supreme Court. That alone has set in motion for America to transition to a plutocracy. Our Congress stopped representing the people a long time ago. Nothing will happen. The Super Committee was DOA. Policy can be set and proposed but America's purse strings are tied to Congress and Congress is tied to $$ by corporations/lobby's. In the short term NOTHING will happen until the 2012 elections. GOP has stated their goal is to out Obama. That is their focus not the economy or jobs. IF America makes it to 2012 I will be surprised. By then we will be a plutocracy, total fall as in Greece/Rome, or entered into some type of revolution. The real question here is will you accept plutocracy, accept the experiment of a democratic republic failure as in Greece/Rome, or will you join in some type of revolution.

    September 18, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. CG

    Seems to me like the slowly recovering job market came to a screeching halt right after the Republican party took control of the House of Representatives. But no, I'm sure the double-dip recession is all Obama's fault.

    September 18, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Doc

    If I understand it correctly, those "Bush Tax Cuts" have been in place since before President Obama took office. They were suppose to "stimulate" job growth and business in general. If that's the case, why hasn't any of that happened vs. the extreme slow down (recession) we've been experiencing since Bush was in office? I agree with President Obama. Those Americans earning over the $1 million dollar starting point should be paying a fair share. Speaker Boehner and his fellow GOP'ers are simply not in touch with the people they represent. Their loyalty seems to be with the rich, corporate America and big business.

    September 18, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. "He's Dead Jim."

    Real class warfare: 1) Selling America's jobs, ideas, and tech to other nations. 2) Changing the economy from one filled with manufacturing jobs to one filled with low wage retail jobs. 3) Creating an atmosphere of hate for unions and union workers – we get paid in many instances a truly fair wage compared to our non-union counterparts and we still struggle to keep up with the cost of living. Non-union types will claim we are overpaid. I say that if you are non-union and making $10.00 less an hour than me, you are grossly underpaid. Think about it. Unions have fought and continue to fight for the best and fair wages. Eliminate us and expect more low paying, high labor, low skill jobs. Expect lower and lower pay for the non-wealthy. You know, us people who are on your side. Think about it. If my union job were to ever be eliminated permanently, I'd rather go from a heart attack than work for $10.00 less an hour and start all over again.

    September 18, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. bobden

    How is it that elected reps can sign a pledge to do what some ultr-rich creep wants them to do. Does that not violate their pledge to represent we the people? They have violated their oath of office.

    September 18, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Kennk

    The Republican's got elected on their promise to put American's back to work. Instead all they did when they arrived in Washington was push cuts and deficit reduction which only increases unemployment. Because they cynically think high unemployment will help their election chances. Yet even when they claim deficit reduction is the absolute most important issue out there they refuse to have the wealthiest 2% pay their share to help reduce the deficit. You just can't get any more hypocritical. It's astonishing that anyone (other than the richest 2%) buy it to it.

    September 18, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. SecedingfromTexas

    @Four/Door who said "Don't let Obama tear us apart. We are all in this together"
    The Tea Party is tearing this Country and the Republican Party apart, so cut the sweet talk, its embarrassing!
    We know what you support, and some of us do not, and will not follow your lead. Who you support seems
    to change every week. But you really lost me when you said "anybody but Obama". For you, or
    anyone else who wants the least competent to lead America, for me, loses all credibility and negates any of
    your arguments.

    September 18, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Linda

    Who does Boehner think he is/ God? The wealthiest people in this country are mostly willing to pay their fair share. Corporations like GE paid no taxes last year and they make billions. Oil companies get huge tax breaks – all advertising for companies, just think about McDonald's and how much they must spend, is a write-off – no taxes paid on any of it which is why media supports the candidates who have the most money to spend, they earn most of it! Let's go back to the days of Reagan, all you Republicans who treat him like a god, – he and Jimmy Carter both had the same amount to spend and they got it from the American people who donated two dollars on their tax returns to pay for election campaigns. HEY, what a concept! Then someone who is not a millionaire could run for president. You Obama haters are nothing but racist un American idiots. He has done the best anyone could with the horrific debt left by two unpaid for wars and the tax cuts for the wealthy that he could not change – if he did, the Party of NO refused to continue unemployment benefits. Open you eyes, if you are not wealthy, voting for any of the Republicans is a vote against your own best interest. Government can and will generate jobs – private companies even with the biggest tax breaks are not and the Republicans like Boehner, only care to defeat Obama – they care nothing for what happens to you and me in this nation.

    September 18, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Kennk

    Class warfare? The Republicans have been waging class warfare against the middle class for 20+ years. They're in an absolute feeding frenzy right now thinking they have an opportunity to deliver the knockout punch to the American middle class. They continue to push policies to benefit their rich blue-blood donors at the expense of middle-class American's. Graham should be ashamed to make comments like that. He knows better.

    September 18, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. terry,va

    @Jack in Flordia....How did this country make me rich? Was a government watch dog at my bed and forced me to get up at 5am and work 12-14 hours not including travel time? Did the government tell me what decisions to make? The answer is, I made my self rich as could anyone else that has the drive to. Why should I give back to a society of leeches that had the same opportunity that I did? The answer is simple. I shouldn't and I don't like people trying to steal from me.

    September 18, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. A Kickin` Donkey

    The GOP has been waging "class warfare" has been "redistributing wealth", has been "socialist" [when it comes to corporate losses] for MORE THAN 30 years. It started with Reagan.

    Maybe marginal tax rates of 70% were too HIGH and it was OK for Reagan to lower them but Republicans have overshot the mark. Advertised regular/working / wage income tax rates are HALF that; after deductions any manipulations, themore affluent pay even less than that. As rates went down disproportionately on the wealthier citizens, more of the burden was transferred to the lower and middle income citizens.

    It ready doesn`t matter what percentage of taxes are paid by the wealthy in 2011; over the past 30 years, there has been a dramatic reduction that BENEFITED THEM.

    It`s time for the taxes on "sit-on-your-butt" income i.e. CAPITAL GAINS be HIGHER than income taxes on WAGES. To have it any other way perverts "American Values" and creates the destructive climate where "fat cat" status is lauded and "working man" status is derided. This is why the GOP feels it can press for even more tax cuts for the privaledged class.

    Raise Capital Gains taxes to 50% from today`s 15%. This also solves the "hedgefund manager loophole".

    Use the extra tax revenues to redeem all those IOUs in the Social Security piggy bank.

    September 18, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. ken

    I have concluded that TeaPublicans cannot read. They claim to know what the American people want. They claim the American people want to get rid of Social Security and the American people do not want to see the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Every poll shows that 80% of Americans do not want Social Security to be tampered with. Over 72% of Americans want the rich to pay their fair share so from that one can only conclude that the GOP cannot read polls.

    September 18, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. bigwilliestyles

    That should be "have not referred"

    September 18, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. bailee

    And to top it all off, the Republicans are calling President Obama's proposal to tax the RICH MILLIONAIRES "class warfare"!! Oh really??? For WAY TO MANY YEARS the rich have NOT paid their fair share of taxes in this Country!! THE MIDDLE CLASS AND POOR PEOPLE HAVE PLAYED THE CLASS WARFARE GAME FAR TOO LONG!!

    September 18, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Tony


    Republicans know what the polls say. They are just ignoring them because the poll results don't square with their core belief, which is that tax cuts are the answer for everything. With the help and support of FOX News and right-wing talk radio, Republicans live in a bubble universe divorced from reality.

    September 18, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. FIELD1stSGT

    This is so stupid and in America the showing of who is the stupiest of them all. I am a middle class and I guarantee you that it is not us who are supporting this country. With Obama there is no way we make a dent in the pie he is piling up. While we're talking, think about it if your in the Salary Group of $60,000 and below you're not supporting one damn thing. You get most of your, if not all your money back from the IRS and in some cases more than you made in salary if you take the child's deduction. So the 3% you're talking about are the ones supporting America. SO DON'T BE SO DAMN IGNORANT. ALL YOU COMPLAINERS HAVE TO BE THE ONES WHO PUT THE DUMMY IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

    September 18, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Dale

    Durban is another Illinois Democrat who never meet a dollar in tax revenue he couldn't spend and not come back with "Please sir, can I have another>"

    September 18, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Jack V

    The tools of the GOP are a drag

    September 18, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Indy

    It is time to end the tax holiday for the wealthy and put the taxes back up where they belong.It has been proven far beyond a reasonable doubt for more than a decade that they have not created employment. This is not a tax increase, it is ending the long,long tax holiday.It is time for the wealthy to pay fair taxes again just like when the economy was good and they were paying fair taxes. It is time to pay for Bushes wars and blank check spending, everyone needs to pay not just the middle class.

    September 18, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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