“President Obama and the Republican-led Congress are in agreement that tax reform needs to be a priority this year but the two sides can’t find common ground on how to achieve that goal.
In his State of the Union speech, Obama laid out a sweeping plan that raises some corporate taxes and the estate tax while simultaneously providing cuts for middle class families. The capital gains tax would go from 25 percent to 28 percent, and the proposal would impose a fee on the nation’s largest banks.
During an appearance in Boise, Idaho, in wake of his address before Congress, Obama said he believes “in helping hardworking families make ends meet and I believe in giving all of us the tools we need so that if we work hard we can get good-paying jobs in this new economy.”
“As Americans, we don’t mind paying our fair share of taxes, as long as everybody else does,” Obama said. “Where we get frustrated is when we know that lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes, so you’ve got some corporations paying nothing while others are paying full freight. You’ve got the super-rich getting giveaways they don’t need, and middle-class families not getting the breaks that they do need.”
Obama asserted that the White House and Congress need to “close the loopholes that let the top 1 or .1 or .01 percent avoid paying certain taxes, and use that money to help more Americans pay for college and child care. The idea is, let’s have a tax code that truly helps working Americans, the vast majority of Americans, get a leg up in the new economy.”
Republicans haven’t laid out their scheme yet although the House package likely will look much like the Tax Reform Act of 2014, which among other things restructured individual and corporate rates and provided a larger standard deduction and a larger child tax credit. It’s fair to say whatever emerges won’t look anything like the program promoted by the president. It is expected to rely on business tax breaks – likely a cut in the corporate tax which they complain is the world’s highest – in hopes of spurring economic growth. Tax hikes are not in their sightline.”
Bill Straub, is the former White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service and contributor to PJMedia.com.