Dem. source: GOP calling for permanent extension of cuts for wealthiest 2%
December 12th, 2012
11:52 AM ET
8 years ago

Dem. source: GOP calling for permanent extension of cuts for wealthiest 2%

Washington (CNN) - One of the reasons Tuesday night's conversation between President Barack Obama and John Boehner did not go well was because the GOP House speaker sent the White House a fiscal cliff proposal calling for a permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, including for incomes in the top 2%, a Democratic source said Wednesday.

Democrats took the GOP counter offer to mean that tax reform cannot result in any marginal rates higher than current law, according to the source, who said Boehner's proposal was a "sign" to Democrats that "Boehner and the GOP are unwilling or unable to do any sort of deal that can pass the Senate or be signed by the president."

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Democrats favor raising tax rates on wealthy Americans as part of a deal to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff, while Republicans want to extend the Bush-era cuts for all income levels.

A Republican source insists the White House may have misinterpreted the latest GOP offer, since Boehner's offer includes tax reform down the road, which would render anything permanent moot.

The back-and-forth provides new insight into why the speaker described his call with the president as "deliberate" and "frank" in a Wednesday news conference.

Boehner explained that negotiations are stalled because the president won't come down on his $1.4 trillion figure for new revenue and won't up his figure for potential spending cuts.

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Kelby in Houston, TX

    Let's go over the fiscal cliff the Republicans created
    And please remember, There was no Fiscal Cliff until we let the GOtP take control of the House of Representatives

    December 12, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. HenryB

    Let's go over the cliff. Fine with me. We need to shake out and get rid of these GOP roaches. Only way to do that is to call the GOP's bluff. We can not let them bully the nation any longer.

    December 12, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These republicans think this is a game. We, The People clearly have stated that we wanted taxes being raised on the rich. We're not willing to negotiate on that at all!!! Get it through your empty skulls republicans.

    December 12, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Do these people not realize the public decided on November 6th?? Probably not. Just like Foxlite, they continue to pretend President Obama wasn't reelected 5 weeks ago.

    And the GOP has the audacity to call the media left leaning....

    December 12, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Darryl

    Lets go right over the CLIFF ! The republicans will never stop their evil ways and continue to obstruct and defyi any growth this country needs to survive. President Obama has it right and needs to NOT cave in period.

    December 12, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    Good grief. What is the purpose of making us all pay dearly so that the richest Americans can get extra special tax breaks? I hope all those hard working Americans have seen, after this mess, just exactly who the Republicans are working for. It can't be more obvious than the noses on our faces, yet we vote against our own best interests time and time again. For what? A repeal of Roe v. Wade? Is that it? Because there have been a lot of GOPers in control over the years and they haven't even attempted to go there, at least not directly. wake up Americans. The GOP does not have your best interests in the forefront, EVER.

    December 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Bugl3t

    The top 2% made money creating the financial crisis and now want to continue to make more $$$ by holding the rest of us hostage through their GOP shills. I say, lets take away ALL congressional benefits, including retirement packages and healthcare to start our budget cuts.

    December 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Well, if making the cuts permanent is the Republican offer, then the George W. Bush and whole party lied to the American people, because at that time they had defended the deficit busting cuts by promising that they were only temporary. That's why the cuts were given an expiration date in the first place.

    If defending the rich and powerful is what Republicans wish to do, then the American People know what it is that they have to do.

    December 12, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These republicans think this is a game

    Yes they do. Apparently the media does as well. Looks as if most journalists are still receiving their Republican talking points via e-mail to "impress" we the voters with more of their subterfuge and lies. I'm actually starting to get angry. (Which in itself says a great deal.) These "games" the righties and their media stooges are playing are pathetic, uncalled for, insulting, and demeaning to the very folks who they are themselves dependent upon financially.

    December 12, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Jerry

    It makes no difference who is in the White House, we need the Congress and the President to work this mess out for the best of the COUNTRY not either political party...
    The DEMs have ALWAYS been the BIG SPENDERS, not the Republicans. OWN IT!!

    December 12, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. BigTBone

    Can someone please tell me with any validity why Norquist's head isn't on a pike outside the capitol building with his eviscerated body dangling from an overpass?

    They didn't get the message last month. They don't understand reality. They care nothing for 98% of the nation.

    December 12, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Mikey

    If the President's figure for revenue is $1.4T, then he has already come down from the original $1.6T announced a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes it seems that if not for lies, the GOP would have nothing to say at all.

    Perhaps we should just go back to the 1950's that all those Tea Party types pine away for and raise the top rate to the 92% it was under Eisenhower. Their putting up a stone wall to prevent the top rate from being 52.4% less than it was in the 50's.

    December 12, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Curt

    Call their bluff. Obviously the republicans learned nothing from the last election. The people voted for Obama and his proposals and the majority of Americans want the 1-2% to pay more taxes. Is the congress not suppose to represent the majority of Americans? It will be a good day for the country when the republicans no longer control the house . Maybe its time for a three party system, then maybe something will get done in congress.

    December 12, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. John

    Answer............260% decrease..........

    Question....How much has the maximum federal income tax bracket changed in the last 60 years..........

    (1952-91%--1972-75%.....1982-50%....1992-39.6%.....2002...35%.....think it is about time this handout to the rich stops?

    December 12, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Jack

    The GOP is like the guy in Rebel Without a Cause. They will kill everyone just for the principle of not compromising. OK. Drive the freakin' car off the cliff. We'll all blame you.

    December 12, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Emerson

    The GOP just continues to write its own obituary. Even Jimbo Demint got the message that Republicans are on the endangered species list and jumped ship to take the big bucks from the Heritage Fantasy Corporation. Remember this America when you go to the polls next year and in 2014.

    December 12, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. v_mag

    I laugh when I hear someone mention the percentage of total income taxes paid by the 2%, like that proves something. Here's a fact for you: The 6 Walmart heirs together have assets greater than the lower 40% of Americans combined. That's 6 people, owning more that 125,000,000 people. Oh yeah, the rich can afford to pay a LOT more taxes! And they owe it to their country, that made them so wealthy, to pay those taxes.

    December 12, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Republicans behaving badly means only one thing. Whatever bad things that occur, they will blame the Democrats. They've done for decades, and most especially during the past four years.

    "Tax and spend" Democrats is their favorite lie. The facts point in the other direction when it comes to increasing spending and ballooning the deficits. Under Pres. Obama annual spending has only grown at a 1.4% rate over the course of his first term, which is less than inflation. By contrast, the GWB administration saw their spending grow by 6-9% every year. The spent so much that VP Cheney had to declare "deficits don't matter".

    December 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. wwf

    What planet do you live on. Yes the Dems spend, but the Gop owns it as well. All they did was spend under Bush.

    December 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Mr. Moderate

    As long as people like Sheldon Adleson, the Kochs and Meg Whitman can casually throw away hundreds of millions of dollars on failed elections, I think they can afford to pay a little more to support the nation that gave them that opportunity. Fact is taxes were higher for everyone in the 1990s. the economy boomed, 23 million jobs were created. The economy has stagnated under these lower tax rates. I think any arguments about the stimulative effects of tax cuts, particularly at this level, can be thrown out the window at this point.

    December 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. David

    Three Simple steps to end all are problems :
    1. Public Financing of all Campaigns ( no I mean no outside money or services , no Super Pacts )
    2. Make all Re districting done on a Judicial level approved by the voters ( no gerrymandering)
    3. End The Filibuster as it is today ( majority should have a say In how Things go )

    December 12, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Republicans went over cliff in November, now wish all of the rest of us to join them.

    December 12, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. v_mag

    Jerry said, "The DEMs have ALWAYS been the BIG SPENDERS, not the Republicans. OWN IT!!"
    Talking points, Jerry. For historical fact, examine the records of Ronnie Rayguns and GWB to see how they blew up the debt with horrendous military spending and giveaways to corporations. Democrats have spent, too, but generally for programs to benefit ordinary Americans, not wars that benefit nobody but the arms dealers.

    December 12, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I'd be fine with lower tax rates on the wealthy if they did something with it. Where are their contributions to social welfare programs? If the weathly (top 1,500 weathiest) contributed and founded a non-profit health insurance company for those that can't afford anything that fits their needs, then we'd not have to fund Medicaid. This is just one example. Get off your money and do something as we are a country!

    December 12, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Joe


    You really should pay attention to history. Every Republican president since Nixon has increased the federal debt as a percentage of GDP while every Democratic president until Obama has decreased it.

    December 12, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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