Republicans rejected President Barack Obama's proposal to cut corporate taxes and spend money from a massive tax overhaul on job training even before he delivered it in a speech Tuesday in Tennessee.
Calling his plan a "further-left" version of a plan he proposed two years ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "This time [it has] extra goodies for tax-and-spend liberals.
"The tax hike it includes is going to dampen any boost businesses might otherwise get to help our economy," he said ahead of Obama's speech at Amazon.com distribution center in Chattanooga.
According to the Washington Times
, Obama offered his "grand bargain" to cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, which he also proposed last year. But this time he said Republicans would have to agree to spend more on job training programs to help improve incomes and to help smaller businesses to find the kind of qualified workers they need to succeed.
"Republicans want to help families and small businesses, too," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. But he complained that the president's proposal was aimed primarily at creating more government spending.
Another House Republican leadership aide also complained that the proposed cut in corporate taxes, while keeping the top individual tax rate at 39.6 percent, would "have a devastating effect on small businesses in America.."
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, meanwhile, said he supports Obama's proposal, despite making statements last year insisting that corporate tax reform revenues should remain neutral.
"While deficit reduction continues to be an important goal, more and more decision-makers are realizing that our greatest problem is the decline in middle-class incomes," said Schumer.
"With these speeches, the president is adroitly and powerfully beginning to move the debate in that direction. It is both substantively and politically the right thing to do."
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