Here’s what Republicans are calling “tax increases” (implying *everyone’s* taxes)

How much should Boehner’s personal opinion on any matter count after the election?  The Republicans in the House and Senate are protecting the rich and powerful from paying more of their fair share by refusing to close tax loopholes used only by the very wealthy, while the paycheck-to-paycheck conservative base rubes believe they’re the ones being protected from a tax increase! Fox programming at its finest.

Steve Benen:

This sentence… “Let’s make it clear, the president got his tax hike on January 1st. The discussion about revenue, in my view, is over.”

…makes exactly as much sense as this sentence: “Let’s make it clear, Republicans got their spending cuts in 2011. The discussion about spending cuts, in my view, is over.”

Below are some of the tax breaks that Obama has targeted for closure in the past and the ones that are in the Senate bill.

OBAMA TARGETS

  • CARRIED INTEREST. Preferential treatment for private equity, venture capital and other financial managers that lets them pay the 20 percent capital gains rate on much of their income, instead of the higher individual income tax rate on wages.
  • OIL AND GAS SUBSIDIES. Energy sector tax breaks including the oil and gas well-depletion allowance; the domestic manufacturing deduction on oil and gas, and expensing of intangible drilling costs.
  • LAST IN, FIRST OUT (LIFO) ACCOUNTING. An accounting technique used in some industries, especially oil and gas. Companies say this change would force them to revalue old inventory to higher prices.
  • PROFIT DEFERRAL. A deduction for interest expenses on foreign earnings for deferred taxes.
  • FOREIGN TAX CREDIT POOLING. A loophole that lets companies claim more in tax credits than would be paid in U.S. taxes by altering which of their foreign units pay out dividends.
  • INTANGIBLE PROPERTY. A tax break that allows U.S. companies to shelter overseas profits derived from intangible property, such as royalties from drug patents.
  • CORPORATE JETS. A tax break used by corporate jet owners to depreciate fleets.
  • MINIMUM OVERSEAS PROFITS TAX. A minimum tax on overseas profits and using the revenues to help companies invest in the United States.

DEMOCRATS’ SENATE BILL

  • BUFFETT RULE. Named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a new 30 percent minimum tax would be applied on household adjusted gross income, phased in between incomes of $1 million to $5 million.
  • OIL FROM TAR SANDS. Oil derived from tar sands would be added to a list of petroleum products that pay into a liability trust fund to help clean up after oil spills.
  • DEDUCTION FOR MOVING OVERSEAS. This provision would end the ability of companies to take tax deductions for costs associated with moving plants and jobs overseas.

Congressional leaders went to the White House on Friday in a last-ditch effort to avert the automatic “sequester” budget cuts that will soon go into effect. After the meeting, Republican leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Boehner (R-OH) emerged to reemphasize that the GOP will not consider any new revenues in a deal to avert the sequester.

Boehner said, “the discussion about revenue, in my view, is over.” And McConnell added, “I want to make clear that any solutions will be done through the regular order, with input from both sides of the aisle in public debate…I will not be part of any back-room deal and I will absolutely not agree to increase taxes.”

As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent noted, this position is absurd, and akin to Democrats demanding that 100 percent of future deficit reduction be achieved through tax hikes. As this chart shows, nearly three-quarters of deficit reduction that has been achieved since 2011 has been through spending cuts:

[...] And at the end of the day, all of the deficit reduction talk ignores the fact that the problem with government spending at the moment is that it is too low, not too high.

Barbara Morrill: During President Obama’s press conference on Friday morning, the most eye roll inducing moment had to be when, immediately after he had given an lengthy answer outlining the $2.5 trillion cuts already made to the deficit, the proposals he has put forth over the past two years and his willingness to reach a balanced deal with the Republican Party—who have rejected outright any sort of compromise—a member of the brain trust we call the White House press corps said:

It sounds like you’re saying that this is a Republican problem and not one that you bear any responsibility for.

Well, sure. That’s what it might sound like if you had your head up your ass. But instead of giving that obvious response, the president went with:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Julie, give me an example of what I might do.

Q: I’m just trying to clarify your statement.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, no, but I’m trying to clarify the question. What I’m suggesting is, I’ve put forward a plan that calls for serious spending cuts, serious entitlement reforms, goes right at the problem that is at the heart of our long-term deficit problem. I’ve offered negotiations around that kind of balanced approach. And so far, we’ve gotten rebuffed because what Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have said is, we cannot do any revenue, we can’t do a dime’s worth of revenue.

And that’s when crickets invaded the room. Not a peep out of ‘em.

According to Boehner, the only available solution to a problem he helped create is one in which his side gets 100% of what it wants, predicated on the assumption that the massive spending cuts agreed to in 2011 have escaped Republicans’ memories altogether. At this point, most Americans want a compromise. Most Democrats want and have already proposed a compromise. But Boehner wants everyone to know there will be no compromise, and there’s nothing the president can say or do to change his mind. I’ll now look forward to pundits everywhere telling me how “both sides” are to blame.

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