Republican opposition is solidifying to President Barack Obama’s $447 billion job creation plan, and his pending proposal to raise taxes on millionaires is already under GOP fire.
“If we’re just going to do class warfare and get tax increases out of this, then I don’t think much will come of it,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on “Fox News Sunday,” responding to news that the president plans on Monday to propose a minimum tax rate for those making more than $1 million a year.
First reported in the New York Times, the millionaire tax plan is the latest installment in Obama’s job creation and deficit reduction plan. Republicans have said that they are committed to finding areas of agreement with the president but have assailed virtually all the specifics of his jobs plan, which would include payroll tax cuts and transportation and school infrastructure investments.
On the Sunday talk show circuit, Republicans rejected Obama’s millionaire tax idea out of hand. It’s been dubbed the “Buffett Rule,” thanks to billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s public arguments that the wealthiest Americans pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class workers.
“We don’t want to stagnate this economy by raising taxes,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The Kentucky Republican added that the GOP is “not opposed to more revenue” but endorses tax reform as the way to achieve that end.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sounded a similar note. Arguing that “tax policy is jobs policy,” the South Carolina Republican said that an overhaul of the federal tax code that is flatter and simpler would do more to stimulate job growth than creating new layers of tax breaks and tax increases. He also reiterated the GOP view that new federal policies on health care and financial services have created uncertainty in those sectors that has stalled job growth.
But Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin, appearing on the same program, insisted that the elements of the president’s new jobs proposal are popular among voters. The Illinois Democrat added that he would support raising income taxes.
“If it’s on people who are wealthy and comfortable and wouldn’t even notice it? Yes,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.