Obama Pushes $600 Billion Tax Hike

by Andrew Stiles

Good news! The White House thinks a “significant” deal to raise the debt ceiling is still possible. They just need to convince Republicans to pass a $600 billion tax increase:

President Barack Obama made his first direct foray into the deficit negotiations Monday. He met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office for about 30 minutes Monday morning, and planned to meet with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in the early evening.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama’s meeting with Reid was “constructive” and the president concluded that there are still opportunities for a deal to be reached. But he said the only way to achieve that objective would be to include tax increases or the elimination of tax breaks for big companies and wealthy individuals.

“It’s the only way to get it done,” Carney said.

The White House has proposed raising about $600 billion in new tax revenue, including ending subsidies to oil and gas companies, an idea that failed in the Senate.

The administration also would tax private equity or hedge fund managers at higher income tax rates instead of lower capital gains rates, change the depreciation formula on corporate jets and limit itemized deductions for wealthy taxpayers. It also has called for repealing a tax benefit for an inventory accounting practice used by many manufacturers.

The Democrats’ insistence on touting their desire to “end tax breaks to oil and gas companies” is becoming quite tiresome. It’s basically their only specific new tax proposal, but would amount to saving of just $21 billion over a decade. That’s a long way to $600 billion.

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