“Eat Our Peas?” Job-Crushing Tax Hikes Have Been Off the Table for Months
President Obama told Congress today it’s time to “eat our peas” – i.e., to cave in to his demand for tax hikes on job creators. But the Obama Administration has known that a bill that includes a tax hike, and fails to make real spending cuts and reforms, can’t pass the House. In the time since the president requested a debt limit increase, Speaker Boehner has repeatedly said the American people won’t accept tax hikes because tax hikes will destroy jobs. For example:
- May 5: Speaker Boehner said “nothing is off the table except raising taxes” because “raising taxes will hurt our economy and hurt job creation in our country.”
- May 6: Republican leaders released a joint statement saying, “We want to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is why everything must be on the table except increasing taxes.”
- May 9: In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, Speaker Boehner said, “with the exception of tax hikes -- which will destroy jobs -- everything is on the table.” Boehner said, “A tax hike would wreak havoc not only on our economy's ability to create private-sector jobs, but also on our ability to tackle the national debt.”
- May 10: On NBC’s Today Show, Speaker Boehner said, “The fact is you can't tax the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs. Washington doesn't have a revenue problem. Washington has a spending problem. … [Raising taxes is] off the table.”
- June 23: Speaker Boehner said “we’ve got to stop spending money that we don’t have, and since the beginning, the Majority Leader and myself, along with Sen. McConnell and Sen. Kyl have been clear: tax hikes are off the table.”
- June 24: Speaker Boehner said, “The American people will not accept an increase in the debt limit that is accompanied by job-crushing tax hikes and fails to dramatically cut and reform government spending. … The president and his party may want a debt limit increase that includes tax hikes, but such a proposal cannot pass the House.”
- July 7: Speaker Boehner said, “I have also made clear that we are not going to raise taxes on the American people. We are not going to raise taxes on the very people that we expect to reinvest in our economy and to help grow jobs.”
In other words: the White House has had some advance notice that pushing for tax hikes wouldn’t fly. And their ongoing insistence on small business tax hikes is even stranger when you consider that President Obama once agreed with Republicans that raising taxes would hurt job growth.
The Weekly Standard quotes President Obama saying in 2009 – when Democrats still had big majorities in the House and the Senate – “the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up – take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole.” But with the unemployment rate at 9.2 percent (far above the 8 percent promised by the Obama Administration if the “stimulus” passed), raising taxes on job creators now would only make things worse.
Instead of “eating our peas” and imposing higher taxes, Speaker Boehner told Laura Ingraham today that Republicans want “real spending cuts and reforms to restrain future spending – and no debt limit increase unless the cuts are larger than the hike.” This would “instill some confidence in job creators” and generate real economic growth that will help get Americans back to work.