President, Republicans accuse each other of playing politics
June 2nd, 2012
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

President, Republicans accuse each other of playing politics

(CNN) - Stop playing politics with taxes, President Barack Obama told Congress in his weekly address Saturday.

No, that's what your party is doing, Sen. John Cornyn said, speaking for the GOP.

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The Texas Republican said uncertainty over federal tax cuts - which would expire at the end of January without Congressional action - is harmful to families, businesses and the economy as a whole.

"This would be a body blow for our economy and it could easily push us back into a recession," Cornyn said. "Everyone knows that, including the president, who seems to prefer campaigning to governing, demonstrating a disappointing unwillingness to lead."

What the economy needs, the president said, are the measures included in the jobs bill he sent Congress in September, such as deficit reduction, elimination of wasteful spending, "job creating investments," and "asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes."

"Since then, Congress has only passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that's allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week," he said. "That was important. But Congress hasn't acted on enough of the other ideas in that bill that would make a difference and help create jobs right now."

"My message to Congress," he continued, "is get to work."

Obama called on Congress to work through his "to do list," which he has taken on the road this spring, most recently to a Minnesota factory on Friday, where his remarks closely mirrored portions of his weekly address.

In his weekly address, he called on Congress to approve funding for state and local governments, which is designed to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police officers. He called on Congress to pass or extend a mortgage refinancing measure, an equal pay bill, and clean energy tax credits, plus "end the tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are bringing jobs back to America."

But the economy can't handle increased taxes, Cornyn said.

"Raising taxes is the last thing we should do amid the weakest economic recovery since World War II," he said in the Republican address. "Unfortunately, even if we avoid the full 'Taxmageddon' scenario, President Obama's health care law also contains a new surtax on investment that will take effect in 2013."

Cornyn called for tax reform with the objective to "lower the rates and broaden the base," but said "real presidential leadership" is required for that, something he doesn't see in Obama.

"We're eager to prevent the largest tax increase in American history, and we don't see any reason for delay," he said.

The urgency comes on at least two fronts. Each acknowledged the political realities of an election year, which can make consensus in Washington more difficult than usual. Both parties are also looking ahead to the January 1st tax increases - which Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has called "the fiscal cliff."

And what comes between now and then? Congress is out of town most of August and October, plus at half of November and December. There are the party conventions, plenty of campaigning, and those November elections.

Filed under: John Cornyn • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    GOP idiots aim is Obama 1 term president, they do not have any vision for USA. Yes, on Obama12.

    June 2, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  2. Anonymous

    LOL at the GOBP playing the "uncertainty" card (a variation on the fear card). If those GOBP cultists truly cared about ending this "uncertaintly" (which assumes it's even a valid, as opposed to made up concern), they'd pass the millionaire tax favored by three quarters of voters. That would (a) end the uncertainty and (b) provide at least one shred of evidence the GOBP cult cares about someone other than their wealthy and parasitic backers.

    June 2, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  3. Ryan

    Obviously Sen. Cornyn doesn't realize he is part of Congress, who passes tax cuts, and the President is not. Sounds to me like Congressional inaction is our problem, not Presidential inaction.

    June 2, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. MaryM

    If you want to know what type of "leader/president" Mitt would be, just ask the good people of Massachusetts.

    June 2, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  5. yem

    Obama should be careful about letting Bill Clinton say what he wants. He is a great campaigner, but he could be a loose cannon. How could he praise Romney's record while he was standing on Obama's platform? This is dumb. Please Pres. Clinton, DO NOT MAKE SUCH MISTAKES.

    June 2, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  6. onlyfacts61

    No Cornyn you are wrong. Raising taxes on citizens who make millions will not hurt me or any of my middle class friends. In fact, those additional taxes wouldn't put a dent in my "rich" brothers bank account. And YOU know that! Prior to Nov.2010 the only words out of yours and Boehner's mouth was' "jobs, jobs, jobs". So you told Americans that if you elect more Repubicans we can override Obama and create more jobs, since he isn't getting it done. Well where are they? You too have had your chance. And why is it acceptable for Romney to have eliminated jobs while at Bain. You say, "tough luck for those workers, Bain has a right to capitalize on their misfortune". But when other people lose their jobs because their companies board wants to improve their bottom line, it's now Obama's fault. Cornyn was once a judge in Texas. I hope he was honest back then!

    June 2, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. Ramesh

    We need solutions , not blame game. Who ever is going to get elected have to start detailing their grand plans now.

    June 2, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  8. Chipster

    Republicans seem to be schizophrenic. They raise alarm about the national debt, then want to cut revenue. Oh, of course, they want to cut taxes for the rich & corporations but increase taxes and cut benefits for the poor. They voted to cut defense spending and now they're proposing, not just reversing the cuts, but increasing defense spending. The worst part of that plan is they want to prevent the DOD from cutting outdated equipment and technology because they want to keep those jobs their districts – despite the fact that the DOD doesn't need more outdated equipment. Romney now proposes tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long term employees, yet he previously opposed the President's proposal to do just that. Schizophrenic!

    June 2, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  9. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    please stop the finger pointing and work together for the American people.

    June 2, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Juan Rodriguez

    Please tell me it is not so. I won't believe it.

    June 2, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. a in austin

    I love reading the weekly talking points of the party of no. The economy was doing just fine without the tax cuts. Time to put the fear back in the minds of their followers. For the party that ran on jobs in 2010-whereare the jobs?Thebills sitting in the senate all have 'gotcha' elements that do not help the middle class.

    June 2, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    Pox on both the GOP and Democrats. They bicker like nasty school boy bullies on the playground while the country suffers. Time for a third politcal party made up of moderates with common sense?

    June 2, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Attn all Millionaires and Billionaires, vote Romney so we can keep our money between us and continue hiding it in the Cayman Island, that way Obama can't tax it.

    June 2, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Be careful what you wish for. Obama wished for Obama Care. He got it. Now it is like an Albatross around his neck. Why am I reminded of Nero.

    June 2, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. J KENNEY

    As Americans,we are just a bunch of hypocrites.If it were not so,how can someone like Romney get a nomination?.Racism is also not ruled out here otherwise shd the GOP be spending over $1b just to defeat Obama?.It is insane.

    June 2, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Thomas

    Oct 30, 2002 – The same John Cornyn received $193000 in political contributions from Enron."

    Dose anybody remember Enron ? Enron was the canary in the coal mine . Culture of corruption , thank you supreme court

    What I find disheartening , is that we never learn from our mistakes , we never hold those responsible for such negligence in regard to governing by corporate influence .

    You can't have deregulation , without honest and fair over site.

    You can say whatever you like about Obama , however you can't say he is a dishonest man !

    Romney / Enron

    June 2, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Larry L

    Cornyn was a supporter of the horribly-failed Bush cut & spend program and wants to continue the experiment. He's also been a strong leader in the Republican Plan to obstruct all progress for political gain in 2010 & for the next election. He's a mouthpiece for the fat-cats and has yet to d a single thing to help America recover from Bush's recession – quite opposite. You can be certain – if Cornyn wants something it's something to help the uber-rich only.

    June 2, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans are not playing politics. They are playing domestic terrorist.

    June 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Anna

    Of course the dems and gop are playing politics they are politicians – sheesh.

    What we should be more outraged at is the transparency of the Obama administration sharing our intelligence procedures with the world and even more so with the little press it has gotten. Naming which military service went in and took out Osama, sharing that info with Hollywood, telling the world about the virus that we worked on with Israel, tellng where our ships are going to be – this pozer and his clowns are a threat to this country, feel safer America???? I don't.

    June 2, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republican cut and spend will lead to crash and burn for America.

    June 2, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Pander Bear

    So the GOP response is "I know you are but what am I?" Throw these petulant children out in November.

    June 2, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Cornyn is one of the slimiest politicians to ever walk (other than George W(allace) of Alabama). Wait a minute there was a more recent George W that was also so secretive he wouldn't even admit to being drunk when he fell on a table.

    June 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. CAWinMD

    Cornyn is wrong - there is no uncertainty here. Obama has said many times that he is going to end the tax cuts for those over $250K, and keep the tax cuts for those making under $250K. The only people introducing uncertainty into this process are the Republicans, who have basically said they will do anything, including holding the country and its full faith and credit hostage, in order to ensure that the well off get even more government funded goodies. It's so breathtakingly hypocritical of the party that despises anything governmental. It is shocking to me that 50% of the people in this country can't see what's right in front of them.

    June 2, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Mike in Texas

    Republicans are still in denial that they played any role in the economic collapse from four years ago.

    A Republican House/Senate/White House took a surplus (which by the way was accomplished with tax increases and spending cuts) and turned it into a deficit in one year by cutting taxes and increasing spending. Their arrogance after 9/11 and two wars made them feel they could do whatever they wanted. Their arrogance cost them Congress in 2006.

    Once Democrats took control of everything, Republicans all of a sudden said we have a deficit problem and it is all due to spending not because revenues are too low.

    If you are serious about the deficit you need to increase taxes and cut spending. Even when President Obama offered a 3-1 spending cuts to tax increases, the Republicans balked.

    The Republicans don't give a hoot about anything but power.

    June 2, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Grow up already...

    Obama didn't wish for Obamacare. He wished for the public option. He ended up with Obamacare as a concession to the Republicans who then didn't vote for it becasue he would sign it. STOP trying to rewrite history when it obviously false.

    June 2, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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