President Barack Obama’s proposal to increase taxes by $1.6 trillion over the next decade is laughable, says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“The only way we succeed is if the president steps up and leads,” he said on the Senate floor Thursday, The Hill
reports. “And an opening bid of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes just isn’t serious. . . . It’s a joke."
Obama’s most recent budget plan called for raising that amount of revenue through higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, defined as households with annual income of more than $250,000.
“What they want is to sock it to the ones they call ‘rich,’” McConnell said. Republicans will only negotiate a budget accord if Democrats agree to include spending cuts and entitlement reform as part of negotiations, he says.
A tax increase on those bringing in more than $250,000 wouldn’t matter, as it would only fund the government for a week, McConnell says. At the same time, such a tax hike would end up hitting small business, he and other Republicans say.
Americans are dubious that a budget agreement can be reached before Jan. 1, when automatic spending cuts and tax hikes are slated to begin, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. It shows that 51 percent of Americans don’t think a budget compromise can be reached to avoid that fiscal cliff, while 38 percent do.
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