Entries in Tax Increase (4)


Jon Huntsman Supports 'Sacrifice' from the Wealthy

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Depending on where you stand, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is either the gutsiest contender for the Republican presidential nomination or the nuttiest.

Huntsman told PBS' NewsHour Thursday that if he defeats President Obama in November 2012, he will "call on a sacrifice from all of our people, even those at the very highest end of the income spectrum."

That would put Huntsman more squarely in line with the incumbent who contends that "shared sacrifice" is the only way to get the nation's fiscal house in order.

While Huntsman, an ambassador to China in the Obama administration, did not repeat the president's demand to end Bush-era tax cuts for the rich, the implication was there.  That would certainly put him at odds with all the other contenders for the White House, who insist that any tax hike will hurt job creators, namely, the wealthy and corporations.

Huntsman has been moving decidedly to the center in an effort to get noticed.  However, he is barely showing up in the polls, generally finishing at the bottom.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton Exclusive: 'Not the Time for Spending Cuts'

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Former President Bill Clinton sees a possible way past the bipartisan impasse over raising the debt limit: agree to cut spending and raise taxes, but do neither until later, after the economy improves.

"If they [the Republicans] said, look, that now is not the time for big tax increases to harm the recovery, they would be right," Clinton told ABC News in an exclusive interview at the Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago.  "But it's also right to say that now's not the time for big spending cuts."

"What I'd like to see them do is agree on the outlines of a 10-year plan and agree not to start either the revenue hikes or the spending cuts until we've got this recovery underway," Clinton added.  "The confidence that the Republicans say would be given to investors with a budget plan, they'd get whether we started this year or next year or the year after that, for that matter."

For the first time, the former president is focusing his Clinton Global Initiative on creating jobs here in the United States.  He suggested waiting for the recovery to take hold before pushing spending cuts and tax increases will make the issues clearer.

"We've got to get the jobs back in this economy again," Clinton said.  "The more people we get going back to work, the more businesses we start, that'll bring up the revenue flow, and it will cut down on the expenses.  Then, we'll see what the real dimensions of our problem are."

Unfortunately, however, Clinton fears Republicans' "ideological conviction" about never raising taxes recalls the lead-up to government shutdowns in the '90s, adding that the pressure on GOP candidates to toe the ideological line could hamstring their bids to unseat President Obama.

"They were in a similar anti-government fever, anti-tax fever in 1995 until, you know, the struggle went on for a year and they shut the government down twice," Clinton said.  "The public made a judgment that that was not right.  And then we finally broke through.  It wound up with the balanced budget act and forced surpluses and real prosperity."

Could the dispute this time push past the Aug. 2 deadline when, officials say, failing to raise the nation's debt ceiling could lead to America defaulting on its loans?  Clinton didn't discount the possibility.

"When I passed my budget in 1993, they routinely said it would bring on a terrible recession, [that] it was the end of capitalism as we knew it," he said.  "And we had the best eight years in our history.  But they just kept saying it.  You've got to give them credit.  The evidence doesn't deter them...It's an ideological conviction.  So, I don't know that it can be resolved until there's some break in the action."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitch McConnell: 'It's Time Congress Got Its Priorities Straight'

Photo Courtesy - The Office of Sen. Mitch McConnell(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky questioned the priorities of Democratic lawmakers when giving this week's GOP address.

McConnell focused on the hardships of many Americans still trying to find work, pointing to an unemployment rate that has "remained stubbornly close to 10 percent" over the last year, and blamed Democrats for not paying enough attention to the issue.

McConnell's main example of Democratic leaders' negligence was the stimulus, which he said was "supposed to create millions of jobs and keep unemployment from rising above eight percent."  Yet, he added, "more than three million people have lost jobs and the economy barely has a pulse."

The current Senate Republican leader said the best remedy for the nation's economic struggles is to prevent the tax increase set to happen at the end of the year.  But Democrats, he said, would rather focus on "everything except preventing this tax hike."  He then cited issues such as immigration, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and a reorganization of the FDA saying that the priorities of Democrats need to be changed, with more emphasis directed toward job creation.

"It's time Congress got its priorities straight," he said.  "It's time Congress focused on job creation -- and that means preventing tax hikes.  It's time to set aside the political votes and government spending that the administration and Democratic leaders have put above all other priorities for two years."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Debt Commission Plan 'Dead on Arrival'?

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – President Obama’s debt commission has announced a proposal to not only stabilize but cut the soaring national debt by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has proposed a plan that would impose strict budget rules including $2 trillion in spending cuts, $1 trillion in tax increases, means-testing Social Security and increasing the retirement age to 69 by 2075. The proposal would also force lawmakers to set long-term borrowing goals that could be met with further tax increases and spending cuts if gone unmet.

A congressional aide close to the commission called the proposal "dead on arrival."

"For members that have to get re-elected there are some things in here that are tough to swallow, such as raising the gas tax, upping the retirement age for Social Security, and cutting the mortgage interest deduction," the aide said. "It just goes to show how difficult deficit reduction really is."

And he may be right. Released Wednesday, the plan has already drawn staunch opposition. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly released a statement to show her disapproval.

"This proposal is simply unacceptable," Pelosi said. "Any final proposal from the Commission should do what is right for our children and grandchildren’s economic security as well as for our nation’s fiscal security, and it must do what is right for our seniors, who are counting on the bedrock promises of Social Security and Medicare."

Others, like Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, have hailed the plan as "remarkable."

"This plan does it all - allows time for the economy to strengthen, brings down future deficits and debt, protects the most disadvantaged, makes government more effective and efficient, and promotes economic growth and competiveness," MacGuineas said.

David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States, called the proposal a "commendable, comprehensive, aggressive and good faith effort" that "puts ‘everything on the table.’"

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton has said President Obama will hold his comments on the plan until after the commission finishes work on the proposal.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio