Economy Alarm: Hoyer Puts More Tax-Hikes on the Table

March 1, 2010

Hoyer Puts More Tax-Hikes on the Table

Dem Leader Joins Obama in Calling for Tax Increases to Balance Massive Spending



President Obama Has Repeatedly Promised Middle-Class Families Would be Exempt from Tax-Hikes


“Obama repeatedly vowed during the 2008 presidential election campaign that he would not raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 and households earning less than $250,000 a year.” (Rich Miller, “Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won’t Prejudge Tax Increases,” Bloomberg, 2/11/2010)


“He went on to say that the initiatives would ‘focus on easing the burdens on middle-class families who are struggling in this economy, and providing the help they need to get ahead.’ Well, they would ease them a little bit, perhaps, but not much.’” (Michelle Singletary, “President Obama proposals offer modest help to the middle-class,” Washington Post, 1/28/2010)


Credibility Crash: Hoyer: Raising Taxes May be Necessary to Bring Down $12 Trillion Federal Debt


Tax increases may be necessary to rein in $12 trillion in federal debt, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday.


Hoyer emphasized the need to reform Social Security and Medicare, but also made it clear that raising taxes will have to be on the table.


“No one likes raising revenue, and understandably so,” Hoyer said in an address at the Brookings Institution. “But if you’re going to buy, you need to pay.


“If need be, I am hopeful that both parties will agree to look at revenues as part of the solution — not as a gateway to higher spending, but as part of a compromise that cuts spending and balances the budget,” he added.


President Barack Obama has promised he will not raise taxes on families with incomes less than $250,000.


Hoyer, who is seen as a voice for centrist in the House leadership, said the only way to win political support for reining in record debt is with both spending cuts and tax increases.


“It seems to me that the only solution that can win the support of both parties is a balanced approach: One that cuts some spending and raises some revenue while avoiding extremes in either direction,” he said.


This year’s deficit is expected to hit $1.6 trillion, and annual deficits are expected to average $850 billion over the next decade.


Obama’s answer, in large part, is a bipartisan commission of outside experts and lawmakers that will come up with fiscal reform proposals. Congress would expected to vote up or down on the commission’s proposals.


Voices on the left and right, however, are worried the panel will propose unpopular fiscal austerity measures.


“Along with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, I’ve pledged that its recommendations will get an up-or-down vote in Congress,” Hoyer said. “Given the seriousness of our situation, the commission must come to a consensus, and Congress must act on its proposals at the end of the year.” (Walter Alarkon, “Hoyer: Raising taxes a realistic option for cutting $12 trillion debt,” The Hill, 3/1/2010)


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