Republicans will raise taxes if Obama wins

Republicans have used their majority in the House of Representatives to foil President Obama’s attempts to raise taxes.  But don’t expect them to keep doing that if Obama is re-elected.  Republicans are saying they will interpret his re-election as a “referendum on taxes”–a sign that voters are willing to pay more–which will trigger a change in strategy that would trade tax increases for other Republican causes:

Senior Republicans say they will be forced to retreat on taxes if President Obama wins a second term in November, clearing the biggest obstacle to a deal with Democrats to defuse a year-end budget bomb that threatens to rock the U.S. economy.

Republicans have long resisted tax increases of any kind. But taxes are a major battleground in the campaign between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Capitol Hill veterans say, and the victor will be able to claim a mandate for his policies.

“This is a referendum on taxes,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Budget Committee. “If the president wins reelection, taxes are going up” for the nation’s wealthiest households, and “there’s not a lot we can do about that.”

With Election Day still more than six weeks away and the president holding a thin lead in national polls, Republicans say they are not conceding that an Obama victory is the likely outcome. But they are beginning to plan for that possibility.

Lawmakers expect to leave town Friday and will not return until mid-November, when they will have little time to head off $500 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 2.

If Romney wins the White House, Republicans say, their strategy is clear: They would push to maintain current tax rates through 2013, giving the new president time to draft a blueprint for overhauling the tax code and taming the $16 trillion national debt.

But if Obama wins, the GOP would have no leverage — political or procedural — to force him to abandon his pledge to raise taxes on family income over $250,000, according to senior Republicans in the House and the Senate.

So they are beginning to contemplate a compromise that would let taxes go up in exchange for Democratic concessions on GOP priorities.

via GOP retreat on taxes likely if Obama wins – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Susan

    One thing not mentioned in the article is that ObamaCare is a tax that will hit the middle-class hard and the costs of health care has risen faster under Obama than they did under Bush because of ObamaCare.

  • Susan

    One thing not mentioned in the article is that ObamaCare is a tax that will hit the middle-class hard and the costs of health care has risen faster under Obama than they did under Bush because of ObamaCare.

  • fjsteve

    Sounds kind of like a threat. We might remind these lawmakers that their mandate doesn’t come from national elections but from their own constituency who, presuming they ran on a platform of no new taxes, still expect them to keep their promises.

  • fjsteve

    Sounds kind of like a threat. We might remind these lawmakers that their mandate doesn’t come from national elections but from their own constituency who, presuming they ran on a platform of no new taxes, still expect them to keep their promises.

  • Susan

    @fjsteve

    I thought similarly and when I read the article, I found there is dissent:

    …any compromise would face head winds in the House, where a large bloc of GOP freshmen opposed new taxes during a messy fight to raise the federal debt limit last summer.

    Many say they that are still not ready to agree to higher taxes and that they will press to maintain tax rates for families at all income levels no matter who wins the White House.

  • Susan

    @fjsteve

    I thought similarly and when I read the article, I found there is dissent:

    …any compromise would face head winds in the House, where a large bloc of GOP freshmen opposed new taxes during a messy fight to raise the federal debt limit last summer.

    Many say they that are still not ready to agree to higher taxes and that they will press to maintain tax rates for families at all income levels no matter who wins the White House.

  • Random Lutheran

    This would be an opportunity for them to escape from under Grover Norquist’s thumb, something they’ve been looking to do for some time now. The traditional wing of the party hasn’t been happy about the direction the party as a whole has been going for some time, and this might give them the opportunity to reassert themselves.

  • Random Lutheran

    This would be an opportunity for them to escape from under Grover Norquist’s thumb, something they’ve been looking to do for some time now. The traditional wing of the party hasn’t been happy about the direction the party as a whole has been going for some time, and this might give them the opportunity to reassert themselves.

  • Tom Hering

    You mean they might actually compromise and get things accomplished again? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    You mean they might actually compromise and get things accomplished again? :-D

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Again, I wish the president would quit trying to do Congress’ job, and just stick to his constitutionally mandated task of directing the Executive branch to implement and enforce the policies and laws that Congress passes.

    I suppose I complain in vain.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Again, I wish the president would quit trying to do Congress’ job, and just stick to his constitutionally mandated task of directing the Executive branch to implement and enforce the policies and laws that Congress passes.

    I suppose I complain in vain.

  • SKPeterson

    Actually, this points out the problem most of the rank-and-file members of the Party have with the leadership of the Republican Party. What this is indicative of is preemptive surrender – or what Tom likes to call “compromise,” which in DC-speak means complete and total capitulation of principle to the forces of increased taxation, spending and regulation. It is exactly this sort of weak-kneed-jerk reaction on the part of the “leadership” that makes the grass roots go ballistic. It’s also the same sort of leadership dynamic that offers up a Romney as a “credible” alternative to Obama. If, and it is a really big if, they come away with a compromise, it may indeed involve tax increases, but it should have significant and substantial spending cuts.

    Increase taxes by 10%? Fine. Decrease spending by 20%. Simply increasing revenue will not reduce the budget deficits or make a credible dent in the national debt if that increase is only going to used an excuse to increase spending even further. Does anyone realistically think that Obama, or Reid, or Pelosi would actually offer to cut anything from the overall expenses of the government. Only serious and sustained cuts in outlays will – including the Republicans allowing significant and substantial cuts to DOD and DHS along with cuts to HHS, Education, Labor and the EPA. And that is something no one in either party’s leadership wants to address. Otherwise, people are merely going to assume that the costs are being passed on to them just like TARP, while DC and its cronies stay nice and fat.

  • SKPeterson

    Actually, this points out the problem most of the rank-and-file members of the Party have with the leadership of the Republican Party. What this is indicative of is preemptive surrender – or what Tom likes to call “compromise,” which in DC-speak means complete and total capitulation of principle to the forces of increased taxation, spending and regulation. It is exactly this sort of weak-kneed-jerk reaction on the part of the “leadership” that makes the grass roots go ballistic. It’s also the same sort of leadership dynamic that offers up a Romney as a “credible” alternative to Obama. If, and it is a really big if, they come away with a compromise, it may indeed involve tax increases, but it should have significant and substantial spending cuts.

    Increase taxes by 10%? Fine. Decrease spending by 20%. Simply increasing revenue will not reduce the budget deficits or make a credible dent in the national debt if that increase is only going to used an excuse to increase spending even further. Does anyone realistically think that Obama, or Reid, or Pelosi would actually offer to cut anything from the overall expenses of the government. Only serious and sustained cuts in outlays will – including the Republicans allowing significant and substantial cuts to DOD and DHS along with cuts to HHS, Education, Labor and the EPA. And that is something no one in either party’s leadership wants to address. Otherwise, people are merely going to assume that the costs are being passed on to them just like TARP, while DC and its cronies stay nice and fat.

  • Joe

    Tom — your statement assumes that it is a good thing when our Federal Gov’t accomplishes things. I remain unconvinced.

  • Joe

    Tom — your statement assumes that it is a good thing when our Federal Gov’t accomplishes things. I remain unconvinced.

  • Tom Hering

    Governance = doing nothing? What a country. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Governance = doing nothing? What a country. :-D

  • WebMonk

    Tom, I think it’s more like:
    Good Governance > Doing Nothing > Governance As Is

  • WebMonk

    Tom, I think it’s more like:
    Good Governance > Doing Nothing > Governance As Is

  • http:homewardbound-cb.blogspot.com ChrisB

    Of course, the GOP leadership already tried increasing tax revenues (via tightening loopholes and restrictions on deductions). The White House got greedy and the GOP backed out of the deal, but they’ve shown that they believe some kind of increase in revenue will be necessary to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” So we may see something like this no matter who wins in November.

  • http:homewardbound-cb.blogspot.com ChrisB

    Of course, the GOP leadership already tried increasing tax revenues (via tightening loopholes and restrictions on deductions). The White House got greedy and the GOP backed out of the deal, but they’ve shown that they believe some kind of increase in revenue will be necessary to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” So we may see something like this no matter who wins in November.

  • fjsteve

    What Monk said. I was going to try to expand on that but I think it stands on its own.

  • fjsteve

    What Monk said. I was going to try to expand on that but I think it stands on its own.

  • Tom Hering

    “As is” = what exactly?

  • Tom Hering

    “As is” = what exactly?

  • DonS

    The problem is reality. The tax increases, both the expiration of the “Bush tax cuts” and the Obamacare taxes that come into existence in January 2013, are already written into law. The Republicans in the House can’t change that if Obama is re-elected, or if the Senate remains under Democratic control. That’s just fact. So, if you don’t have the power to reverse the already-scheduled tax increases, and Obama has already committed to both the Obamacare tax increases and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for incomes over $250,000, there is not a whole lot you can do.

    Reality says, at that point, that you negotiate the best deal you can get, understanding that you are being forced to concede something.

    Of course, as voters, we still have the power, until November 6.

  • DonS

    The problem is reality. The tax increases, both the expiration of the “Bush tax cuts” and the Obamacare taxes that come into existence in January 2013, are already written into law. The Republicans in the House can’t change that if Obama is re-elected, or if the Senate remains under Democratic control. That’s just fact. So, if you don’t have the power to reverse the already-scheduled tax increases, and Obama has already committed to both the Obamacare tax increases and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for incomes over $250,000, there is not a whole lot you can do.

    Reality says, at that point, that you negotiate the best deal you can get, understanding that you are being forced to concede something.

    Of course, as voters, we still have the power, until November 6.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 13
    “As is” = what exactly?

    $1T+ annual deficits, no budget passed in 3 years, cronyism in every direction (that includes both parties). Where else would you like me to take this?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 13
    “As is” = what exactly?

    $1T+ annual deficits, no budget passed in 3 years, cronyism in every direction (that includes both parties). Where else would you like me to take this?

  • Jim_777

    So if Obama wins reelection, the House GOP will immediately betray all the voters who put them in the majority and begin rubber-stamping Democrat policy preferences? That makes sense. Because when Obama wins an election, it’s a mandate. If the GOP retains the majority in the House by winning many elections, it’s a sign that they should cave. These guys are pathetic.

  • Jim_777

    So if Obama wins reelection, the House GOP will immediately betray all the voters who put them in the majority and begin rubber-stamping Democrat policy preferences? That makes sense. Because when Obama wins an election, it’s a mandate. If the GOP retains the majority in the House by winning many elections, it’s a sign that they should cave. These guys are pathetic.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Is the GOP pathetic here, or is the Washington Post using a few odd quotes from people to generate a story to separate the GOP from its conservative base?

    I’m going with the latter. There is no reason that Congress can not attach a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts to the budget and dare Obama to shut the government down altogether. There is no reason that leaders of the House of Representatives can declare the Senate’s ongoing budget resolutions “dead on arrival” and force Harry Reid, should he retain the leadership of the Senate, to actually do his job and pass a budget.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Is the GOP pathetic here, or is the Washington Post using a few odd quotes from people to generate a story to separate the GOP from its conservative base?

    I’m going with the latter. There is no reason that Congress can not attach a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts to the budget and dare Obama to shut the government down altogether. There is no reason that leaders of the House of Representatives can declare the Senate’s ongoing budget resolutions “dead on arrival” and force Harry Reid, should he retain the leadership of the Senate, to actually do his job and pass a budget.

  • helen

    Mike @ 6
    Again, I wish the president would quit trying to do Congress’ job

    Agreed, but I also wish Congress would do Congress’s job, which they haven’t lately.
    There were too many “Executive orders’ under Bush II already.

  • helen

    Mike @ 6
    Again, I wish the president would quit trying to do Congress’ job

    Agreed, but I also wish Congress would do Congress’s job, which they haven’t lately.
    There were too many “Executive orders’ under Bush II already.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X