Obama Administration: Maybe We Just Won’t Collect The Taxes If We Go Over The Fiscal Cliff


Unless Congress comes to terms on a deal before the 1st of next year, all Americans would see significant tax increases due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts (among other tax reductions). Now the Obama administration is hinting that, should it happen, they won’t necessarily collect those higher tax rates for everyone.

The White House has the power to temporarily protect taxpayers from middle-class tax hikes even as upper income rates rise if Congress does nothing and all of the Bush-era tax rates expire in January.

Experts and lawmakers alike agree that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to adjust how much is withheld from paychecks for tax purposes — for all taxpayers or just for some.

By doing so, Geithner could ensure paychecks reflect the White House position that wealthier taxpayers with annual income higher than $250,000 see their taxes rise. Geithner at the same time could leave withholding tables where they are for the middle class, ensuring those workers don’t see a higher cut from their paychecks.

This is a dangerous game, because the Obama administration refusing to collect all the taxes owed by Americans doesn’t necessarily absolve them of the obligation to pay those taxes under the law.

How would you like to get hit with a bill for six months worth of taxes after a unilateral moratorium imposed by President Obama?

Not to mention the uncertainty. It’s bad enough that the Bush tax cuts have been temporary in nature since they were first passed (not to mention Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax cuts), but now we add another moving part to the problem, hinging on whether or not the President wants to impose the tax rates approved by Congress?

This is a seriously bad idea.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • mikemc1970

    Hell just raise everyone’s rate to 90% then Obama can just decide who pays the usual amount based on the contents of his enemies list. Just what we need more executive power stealing.

  • SigFan

    So many laws – so little time to ignore or break them. 2013 Is shaping up to be a momentous year for America – but not in a good sense.

  • kelseymcl

    this isn’t a solution — washington needs to work together to solve the problem

  • Flamejob5

    The “Fiscal Cliff.”

    16.4 trillion isn’t already over the cliff? lol.

  • HG

    What this sounds like is the Obama administration taking his battle outside. He’s forgoing the constructed channels within the federal gov’t and finding or creating new paths to accomplish his ideological goals. This is a game-changer. If it is okay for the President, then it’s okay for Congress, it’s okay for Americans. He’s in effect attempting to reconstruct our constitutional gov’t. It’s the first big gun fired in this political battle. The President is choosing his battle very unwisely. This could spiral downward very quickly.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Silly “Constitution”…. Bamster is preparing to take a big ol’ dooper on it…. (again).

      • Guest

        With your ravenous eating habits, you probably know a lot about ‘big ol’ doopers’ (and being one yourself, of course).

  • alcan44m

    Another fine example of ‘my way or the highway’ presidential leadership. He needs to be reminded that his primary duty as president is to ‘uphold the Constitution’, not circumvent it. We need to send him job hunting.

  • JW-American

    Hold the flipping phone for a second .. Selective withholding possibly? How will that work?

    95 % of mid-to lower middle class and lower earners have sole incomes that are W-2 income, which is withheld by their employer based on the Schedule dependent on the income of that week, bi-week or month of income. the remaining 5% employees are 1099 employees or cash only pimps, ho’s, drug dealers and DemokRAT Politicians on the take. Jesse Jackson Jr, comes to mind.

    So how would Tax Cheat Timmy propose to alter the computerized tax programs that 99% of employers use? (There can’t be anyone still using paper tax codes are there?) Just how would that work?

    BTW it would be nice if they settle this prior to Jan 1 or there will be plenty of employers scrambling for the new withholding tables so they can get out the payroll Fri Jan 4th!

    • two_amber_lamps

      Sounds like a clear violation of the 14th Amendment (aka Equal Protection Clause for you godless, Constitution-hating statists….)

      • Guest

        Your weight sounds like a clear violation of the Law of Conservation of Mass (aka Matter remaining constant over time, you enlarging blubbered pig….)

  • mickey_moussaoui

    welcome to the banana republic of the unites states

  • tony_o2

    Geithner can reduce the withholdings per paycheck, but that won’t affect the actual tax liability of millions of Americans. They can then hold out on negotiating the tax rates until next year. Then when millions of Americans cannot afford to pay their taxes because their withholding was lowered, and they spent that money, they will then use it as leverage to force the Republicans to go along with their tax plan.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

    I guess Obama can just make up the rules as he goes along.