Tax hikes bedevil US debt talks

Republicans and Democrats, who have been at loggerheads for weeks over raising the US debt ceiling, are now stalling over proposals to raise taxes ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama.

"Throwing more tax revenue into the mix is simply not going to produce a desirable result, and it won't pass," said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has accused the president of a dereliction of leadership on the issue.

"Putting aside the fact that Republicans don't like to raise taxes, Democrats don't like to either," he told ABC television's "This Week" on Sunday.

With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warning lawmakers they have until August 2 to raise the debt limit or risk having the United States default on its loans, Obama is due to wade into the angry impasse Monday for separate meetings with McConnell and his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid.

The White House meetings come after a Republican walkout from crucial talks on the issue and warnings by top party leaders that they will not accept the Obama administration's demands to close tax loopholes and hike rates on the wealthiest Americans.

Congressman James Clyburn, the assistant Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said McConnell and other Republicans were setting the budget debate on the wrong path.

"We do not want to raise anybody's tax rates. That's never been on the table," he told "This Week."

"And I wish they (Republicans) would get beyond their talking points and really get honest with the American people as to what these discussions are about."

Clyburn pressed for closing tax loopholes for oil companies and others, but stressed that doing so was not the same as raising taxes.

"We ought not have these oil subsidies. We ought not have all these ethanol subsidies. We ought not have all these new breaks for millionaires and billionaires. We ought to be honest with the American people and have an effective tax rate that will be fair to everybody," he said.

Democrats have said they want to raise some revenue to trim the ballooning US deficit by closing loopholes and reducing tax breaks for oil firms and high-income individuals.

The White House says Republicans want to use the showdown to secure tax loopholes for corporations, tax breaks for the rich and subsidies for oil and gas firms.

According to McConnell, his rival Democrats are willing to reduce Medicare health coverage spending for the elderly and such plans could pass Congress if brought to a vote.

"We need to cut spending now. We need to cap spending in the future. And we need to save our entitlement programs, which are on a path to bankruptcy, according to the president's own trustees of Medicare and Social Security," he added.
 Republicans and Democrats, who have been at loggerheads for weeks over raising the US debt ceiling, are now stalling over proposals to raise taxes ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama.

"Throwing more tax revenue into the mix is simply not going to produce a desirable result, and it won't pass," said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has accused the president of a dereliction of leadership on the issue.

"Putting aside the fact that Republicans don't like to raise taxes, Democrats don't like to either," he told ABC television's "This Week" on Sunday.

With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warning lawmakers they have until August 2 to raise the debt limit or risk having the United States default on its loans, Obama is due to wade into the angry impasse Monday for separate meetings with McConnell and his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid.

The White House meetings come after a Republican walkout from crucial talks on the issue and warnings by top party leaders that they will not accept the Obama administration's demands to close tax loopholes and hike rates on the wealthiest Americans.

Congressman James Clyburn, the assistant Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said McConnell and other Republicans were setting the budget debate on the wrong path.

"We do not want to raise anybody's tax rates. That's never been on the table," he told "This Week."

"And I wish they (Republicans) would get beyond their talking points and really get honest with the American people as to what these discussions are about."

Clyburn pressed for closing tax loopholes for oil companies and others, but stressed that doing so was not the same as raising taxes.

"We ought not have these oil subsidies. We ought not have all these ethanol subsidies. We ought not have all these new breaks for millionaires and billionaires. We ought to be honest with the American people and have an effective tax rate that will be fair to everybody," he said.

Democrats have said they want to raise some revenue to trim the ballooning US deficit by closing loopholes and reducing tax breaks for oil firms and high-income individuals.

The White House says Republicans want to use the showdown to secure tax loopholes for corporations, tax breaks for the rich and subsidies for oil and gas firms.

According to McConnell, his rival Democrats are willing to reduce Medicare health coverage spending for the elderly and such plans could pass Congress if brought to a vote.

"We need to cut spending now. We need to cap spending in the future. And we need to save our entitlement programs, which are on a path to bankruptcy, according to the president's own trustees of Medicare and Social Security," he added.
 

Comments

Comments