Isn’t it refreshing when a leader’s ideology remains rooted in the same core principles over time? When President Obama addressed the nation on our budgetary challenges on Friday, he reaffirmed his commitment to ending the deficit-boosting Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $250,000 a year. And, fresh off his decisive win, Obama reminded Republicans that Americans are on his side.
In his first public comment since being reelected, Obama reintroduced his $4 trillion deficit reduction plan and reiterated that solving our budget shortfall will require us to “ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.” Raising the upper-income tax rate back to the Clinton-era 39% is necessary in order for the nation to make critical investments in education, job training and manufacturing, he said.
Obama did indicate some room for flexibility, saying he was “not wedded” to every point he made during the campaign, and was open to some compromise with Republicans, who still hold the majority in the House (thanks to extensive partisan redistricting).
Still, Obama reminded Republicans of the mandate he earned with a 332-206 Electoral College landslide and a 3 million popular vote margin, saying that returning tax rates to pre-Bush-era rates for the wealthy is policy that voters have undeniably endorsed with their choice of President:
This was a central point during the election; it was debated over and over again. And on Tuesday night we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach.
See the short video below (or the entire 8-minute speech here.)
Later on Friday, Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney filled in any ambiguities the President may have left, saying very clearly that Obama would veto any legislation extending tax cuts for families making $250,000 or more.
It’s refreshing to see a politician stick to his guns. About a year ago, Obama emphatically asserted that he “refuses to renew” the Bush tax cuts again for people earning more than $250,000 per year. Watch a clip from that 2011 speech:
House Speak John Boehner seems to be setting the stage for more brinksmanship and GOP shenanigans, saying that raising tax rates on upper-income earners is “unacceptable.” He thinks, as Mitt Romney did, that we can solve our deficit issue by just eliminating some tax breaks.
Do you think House Republicans will pass a bipartisan tax reform plan next year, or are we in for more of the same? Comment below.