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Will Obama Call For Tax Hikes? Will He Acknowledge That Even Democrats Want Debt Reduction Connected To The Debt Ceiling?

April 13th, 2011 by sclemons · No Comments

 

This afternoon, President Obama is set to speak about his plan for addressing our nation’s debt crisis. However, there are important questions about the president’s approach. Will he acknowledge that something significant must be done about the debt when he asks Congress to raise the debt ceiling, as some Democrats are now saying? And is his plan going to be focused on raising taxes instead of reining in out-of-control Washington spending?

According to Politico, “Internal divisions are surfacing in the Senate Democratic Caucus over how to deal with what could be the most politically treacherous vote this Congress: raising the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling. A number of Senate Democrats are wary of the White House’s call to keep the debt-limit vote free of conditions, including those worried that the vote will be a political albatross in their 2012 election bids, particularly as Republicans plot their strategy, which could force multiple tough votes.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told The Washington Post, “It’s not just Republicans. A lot of Democrats, including myself, are not going to vote to raise the national debt ceiling unless there is something concrete, real, tough done to guarantee that the debt itself will be reduced in the coming years.” And Politico reports, “‘Now it’s time to have that vote tied in with getting some progress on the long-term debt for the country,’ said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who initially held out her vote in 2010 to increase the debt ceiling until Obama agreed to create a bipartisan fiscal commission. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who faces voters next year, has raised similar concerns. And a number of others who have voted in 2010 for a debt ceiling hike – including Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) – declined to directly say Tuesday if they’ll back the White House on a clean vote this time around.”

As The Washington Post notes, many lawmakers “said they could not in good conscience authorize more borrowing unless Obama agreed to cap federal spending, adopt triggers to force rewrites of the tax code and entitlement programs, or accept some other binding mechanism for bringing the debt under control. ‘We’re going to require as a condition for raising the debt ceiling something really important,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters. ‘That means no window dressing, no blue smoke and mirrors — something real, something measurable that clearly will begin to reduce our debt.’”

Will President Obama acknowledge this growing chorus from Congress in his speech, and propose something serious on connection with the debt ceiling?

Meanwhile, CNN reports, “President Barack Obama enters politically tricky territory Wednesday when he outlines his plan for reducing long-term deficits and the national debt amid a climate of tense budget negotiations. A senior administration official confirmed the president will renew his call to end the Bush-era tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 annually — a move that Republicans fiercely oppose.”

CNN notes, “[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid also said additional revenue must be part of any long-range fiscal solution. He didn’t give specifics, but Democrats generally favor increasing the tax rate for families earning more than $250,000 — an idea Obama now officially endorses once again. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters that ‘taxes are not on the table because we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.’”

Related:

Rasmusssen Reports:

65% Say Significant Long-Term Spending Cuts Unlikely Before 2012 Elections

 24% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

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