Mixed Messages: Obama For Extending The Bush Tax Cuts Before He Was Against It?
According to ABC News this morning, Senate Budget Committee chairman and deficit commission member Kent Conrad said that President Obama’s support for extending all of the Bush tax cuts, at least temporarily, was “constructive.”
he White House conceded that in order to get the middle class tax cuts passed in the lame duck session they would need to agree to extend all of them – the Huffington Post reported – and they will have the full support of Sen. Kent Conrad.
The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee told me this morning he “certainly hope[s]” Obama and Congress can come to an agreement before everyone’s taxes go up on Dec. 31.
“I think the President’s remarks are constructive, as you know I proposed some weeks ago that we extend all the tax cuts for a period of time until we are able to fundamentally reform the tax system,” he said. “Because that is what is required in part here along with spending reductions. Both are going to have to be done if we are going to get out of this deep hole.”
It’s a victory, of sorts, to have liberals like Senator Conrad at least talking about cutting spending first before we get to the tax cuts. In the past “deficit hawks” like Conrad have always wanted to get to the tax hikes first…and then never quite get around to those spending cuts. For my part, I say we make the Bush tax cuts permanent and focus on drastic reductions in spending.
But we may not even get that far, as the President’s chief adviser David Axelrod is now denying that Obama supports keeping the Bush tax cuts:
Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod said this morning that President Obama has not caved to GOP demands on the extension of the Bush tax cuts, despite a report from the Huffington Post to the contrary.
“We’re willing to discuss how we move forward,” Axelrod said in an e-mail to National Journal refuting the Huffington Post story, “but we believe that it’s imperative to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, and don’t believe we can afford a permanent extension of tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Does this mean the Obama administration would fight extending all of the Bush tax cuts, or that they’ll go along with it and not like it?
Again, whatever the deficit commission may ultimately recommend, what our economy cannot afford right now is a tax hike and that’s absolutely what allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would be.Tags: bush tax cuts, david axelrod, deficit commission, Economy, Kent Conrad