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Tax Cuts

NEWS
December 6, 2012 | By Alan Fram and Jennifer Agiesta, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Americans prefer letting tax cuts expire for the country's top earners, as President Obama insists, while support has declined for cutting government services to curb budget deficits, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows. Fewer than half the Republicans polled favor continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. There's also a reluctance to trim Social Security, Medicare, or defense programs, three of the biggest drivers of federal spending, the survey released Wednesday found.
NEWS
December 5, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - House Republicans Monday put forth a $2.2 trillion "fiscal cliff" counteroffer to President Obama, calling for raising the eligibility age for Medicare, lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits and bringing in $800 billion in higher tax revenue - but not raising rates for the wealthy. The White House declared that the Republicans still weren't ready to "get serious. " With the clock ticking toward the year-end deadline, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans said that they were proposing a "reasonable solution" for negotiations that Boehner says have been going nowhere.
NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - House Republicans put forth a $2.2 trillion fiscal cliff counteroffer to President Obama on Monday, calling for raising the eligibility age for Medicare, lowering cost-of-living increases for Social Security benefits, and bringing in $800 billion in higher tax revenue - but not raising rates for the wealthy. In turn, the White House declared that the Republicans still weren't ready to "get serious. " With the clock ticking toward the year-end deadline, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R., Ohio)
NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Jonathan Tamari, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - Grabbing hold of an issue that affects paychecks across the country, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will begin a push this week to extend a payroll tax cut scheduled to expire at the end of the year. The Pennsylvania Democrat is about to release a fact sheet showing that extending the cut would spare 122 million households from a tax hike next year. He plans to put the numbers front and center at a Thursday hearing on the fiscal cliff, hoping to raise the profile of an issue that has received scant attention.
NEWS
December 4, 2012
Split the difference The biggest obstacle facing the two parties in the "fiscal cliff" debate seems to be a dispute about the mechanism to make high earners pay more ("No give on tax, spending positions," Monday). Both Democrats and Republicans agree in principle that most earners - singles who make less than $200,000 and married couples who make less than $250,000 - should not have their federal income taxes raised. They also agree in principle that high earners should pay more.
NEWS
December 3, 2012 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
In a cartoon ricocheting around the Web, the conservative antitax crusader Grover Norquist is depicted as the disembodied head of the Wizard of Oz - a green, glowering face floating above Republican politicians bowing in reverence, the entire scene lit by votive torches. It's a mad, maniacal image of the man the left, some Democratic members of Congress, and even former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson blame for bringing the United States to the brink of fiscal disaster. They say Norquist's power - stemming from an ironclad "no tax" pledge most GOP lawmakers have signed - has all but ruled out rational discussion and compromise.
NEWS
December 2, 2012 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writers
In a campaign-style visit to a Montgomery County toy factory Friday, President Obama warned that Republicans in Congress were on the verge of giving millions of Americans a "lump of coal . . . a Scrooge Christmas" by refusing to renew the lower Bush-era tax rates for those making less than $250,000 a year. The GOP is holding tax cuts for the middle class "hostage" to preserve them for the rich, he argued, adding that as far as he is concerned, any negotiated deal to avoid the fiscal cliff must increase tax rates on the wealthy.
NEWS
December 1, 2012 | By Jonathan Tamari, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - President Obama didn't name names Friday in Hatfield, but some of his allies are doing just that. They are singling out Republican congressmen from suburbs around Philadelphia, with ads and rallies pushing them to break ranks and get behind Obama's call to extend middle-class tax cuts while making the wealthy pay more. Close on the heels of the president's visit, liberal and labor groups have planned demonstrations Saturday targeting U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach of County, Pat Meehan of Delaware County, and Charlie Dent in Lehigh County.
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