- Posted October 18, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
It's Off the 'Fiscal Cliff' if Obama Doesn't Get Tax Increase on the 'Rich'
Word coming out of Washington D.C. is that if any bill dealing with the "fiscal cliff" hits the desk of President Barack Obama during the lame duck session of Congress after the election which does not include a tax increase on the "rich" will be vetoed.
As the Washington Post reports:
President Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, collectively known as the “fiscal cliff,” unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy, administration officials said.
Freed from the political and economic constraints that have tied his hands in the past, Obama is ready to play hardball with Republicans, who have so far successfully resisted a deal to tame the debt that includes higher taxes, Obama’s allies say.
In the days after the November election, the tables will be turned: Taxes are scheduled to rise dramatically in January for people at all income levels, and Republicans will be unable to stop those automatic increases alone.
If he wins reelection, Obama may finally be able to dictate the terms of a bipartisan debt-reduction deal. And if he loses to Republican Mitt Romney, Obama could make sure that tax rates rise before he hands over the keys to the White House on Inauguration Day in late January.
Administration officials declined to say whether the veto threat will stand if Obama loses the election.
Obama has never explicitly said whether he is prepared to let the new year arrive without taking action to avoid the cliff. Some Republicans, noting that the president has backed off demands for higher taxes twice in the past, are skeptical that he will stand firm now. But his veto threat challenges Republicans to a dangerous game of chicken over a fiscal event that would raise taxes for nearly 90 percent of households, slice deeply into military and domestic budgets, and probably spark a brief recession.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republican leaders are already complaining about the president’s “ ‘Thelma and Louise’ economic strategy.” (In the 1991 film, the lead characters drive off a cliff in a 1966 Thunderbird convertible rather than surrender to police.)
But Obama’s threat has concentrated their attention. If the president emerges victorious on Election Day, top GOP aides in both chambers say Republicans would press him to abandon his quest to raise the top rates, in exchange for a more meaningful prize — a long-sought agreement to stabilize the debt, in part with significant new tax revenue. Virtually all Republicans have long opposed higher taxes.
I reported back on July 16: Democrats Threaten to Drive Off Fiscal Cliff. It appears from this article that the Democrats led by the President are determined to let the American taxpayers take the plunge if their attempts to up the tax burden on the "rich" are not successful.
From the Cornfield, is this any way to inspire confidence in the US economy when politicians seem intent on playing a game of Chicken with America's economic future?