Senate Democrats

Top Member Of Senate GOP Leadership: Tax Rates For Top Two Percent Will Rise

CORNYN TOPS LIST OF THREE NEW SENATE VOICES CALLING FOR INCREASE IN TOP TAX RATES

Incoming Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn: “I believe we’re going to pass the $250,000 and below sooner or later, and we really don’t have much leverage there because those rates go up by operation of law Dec. 31.  I would focus on the areas where we do have more leverage.”  [Politico, 12/12/12]

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV): “But as government leaders are negotiating in advance of a year-end deadline to avert at least $500 billion in automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts – the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ – Heller said he would ‘take a serious look at any proposal,’ including ones that might allow rates to increase on upper-income families while keeping them lower for others.” [Las Vegas Review Journal, 12/12/12]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “Give in by voting present, let the Democrats pass an increase in the upper tax brackets, comes over to the Senate, Republicans vote no, and it becomes a Democrat tax increase but not a Republican/Democrat tax increase, which I think is a mistake for the Republicans.” [Fox News, 12/11/12]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “Murkowski, in an interview this morning from Washington, said she had been among Republicans who have been saying that raising the tax rate on some of the nation’s wealthiest individuals should be a part of the solution to the national debt problem if it is coupled with a reduction in spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. An increasing number of Republicans have, following Obama’s re-election and Republican losses in Congress, been expressing such a view. ‘I have been suggesting for a period of time now that I think it is worth a discussion, consideration, to look at the highest earners,’ Murkowski said. ‘For us as party to draw a line in the sand, to say ‘Don’t ever touch tax rates,’ I think that became a problem for us.’” [Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,12/12/12]

 

GROWING NUMBER OF GOP LAWMAKERS AGREE

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “So, and a lot of people are putting forth a theory and I actually think it has merit where you go ahead and give the president the 2 percent increase that he is talking about, the rate increase on the top 2 percent.”  [Fox News Sunday, 12/9/12]

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE): “Sen. Mike Johanns edged Friday toward willingness to consider an increase in the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans as part of a fiscal cliff agreement if it also includes ‘a good-faith down payment’ on reducing entitlement spending. ‘You know, I think there is an opportunity there,’ Johanns told Bloomberg TV anchor Al Hunt when he asked whether Republicans could go along with a Democratic plan that would restore the top tax rate to 39.6 percent with a promise that it could be revisited next year.” [Lincoln Journal Star, 12/7/12]

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “Personally, I know we have to raise revenue; I don’t really care which way we do it.  Actually, I would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way, because it gives us greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future.” [The Hill, 12/5/12]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “Representative (Tom) Cole’s (R-Okla.) proposal to proceed with an extension of tax relief for working families making $250,000 or less has merit because everyone agrees lower and middle-income families should not be subjected to higher taxes. I believe that very wealthy individuals — millionaires and billionaires — should pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes to help us reduce the soaring deficit.” [Portland Press Herald, 12/6/12]

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME): “Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, who is retiring, joined a handful of other Republicans on Tuesday suggesting that Congress should pass the middle-class tax cut extensions now, then leave the fight over taxes and spending until later. Americans, she said, ‘should not even be questioning that we will ultimately raise taxes on low- to middle-income people.’ Congress could take that off the table‘while you’re grappling with tax cuts for the wealthy,’ she said.” [NY Times, 12/5/12]

Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX): “Separately, Representative Kay Granger of Texas is endorsing Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole’s call to extend all tax cuts for middle-class earners as ‘just the right thing to do.’” [Bloomberg, 12/5/12]

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC): “I would probably vote for it at that point.” [Huffington Post, 12/4/12]

Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH): “Rate increase, if the package includes significant entitlement reform that gets you to $4 to $6 trillion (in deficit savings) over 10 years, I would vote for that.” [The Associated Press, 11/30/12]

Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH): “If it gets us past the fiscal cliff and the president is willing to consider meaningful savings in entitlements, it’s a legitimate solution.” [The Associated Press, 11/30/12]

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): “I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now.” [Politico, 11/27/12]

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA): “I have to say that if you’re going to sign me up with a camp, I like what Tom Cole has to say.” [CNN, 11/29/12]

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID): “I wouldn’t have a problem with letting those tax rates go up.” [Reuters, 11/29/12]

Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL): “Tom Cole is talking about passing the ones that are out there so there could be more certainty, and I think that would be a positive step.” [NY Times, 11/29/12]

 

CONSERVATIVE OPINION MAKERS ALSO SEE WRITING ON WALL

Bill Kristol: “My view is, get the tax issue off the table. It’s the weakest one for Republicans right now.”  [Fox News Sunday, 12/9/12]

Anne Coulter:  Coulter: “OK fine, let’s do that, but in the end, at some point, if the Bush tax cuts are repealed and everyone’s taxes go up, I promise you Republicans will get blamed for it.  It doesn’t mean you cave on everything, but there are some things Republicans do that feed into what the media is telling America about Republicans.”  Hannity: “So are you saying that, for PR purposes, that they should give in to Obama on the tax rate?”  Coulter: “Not exactly, I–Well, yeah, I guess I am.”  [Huffington Post, 12/6/12]

NY Post Columnist John Podhoretz: “Republicans have a bad hand to play when it comes to the “fiscal cliff” coming up Jan. 1, when taxes will rise automatically on everyone and whopping defense cuts will be imposed automatically.  The truth is, every way you look at it, the GOP is trapped. Republican politicians will cave and give the president most of what he wants…The only real question is when. The answer is: Probably at the worst possible time, when they’ve done even more damage to the party’s‘brand.’”  [NY Post, 12/5/12]

Daily Caller Columnist Matt K. Lewis:  “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how Republicans have anything but bad options regarding the fiscal cliff. At least, not in the short term… This hasn’t stopped some conservative pundits from acting as if Republicans hold all the cards. But the notion that Republicans have leverage is silly. It’s the same kind of happy thinking that led some to boldly predict a Romney victory.”  [Daily Caller, 11/30/12]

Washington Examiner Editorial Writer Conn Carroll: “But as a backup plan, passing a tax cut for 98 percent of Americans, while avoiding any of the additional new stimulus spending that Obama is asking for, may be the best Republicans can hope for right now.” [Conn Carroll Column, Washington Examiner, 12/5/12]

NY Times Columnist David Brooks: “So Republicans have to realize that they are going to cave on tax rates.” [New York Times, 12/4/12]

National Reviews Ramesh Ponnuru: “The low-risk [option] is to pass an extension of the middle-class tax cuts, which presumably the Democrats would have to pass, and watch taxes for high earners rise. That way at least Republicans wouldn’t get blamed for middle-class tax increases. That second option isn’t great. But it’s better than some of the possible deals I’ve been reading and hearing about.” [National Review, 11/30/12]

Wall Street Journal Editorial: “This is where Mr. Norquist can give some ground. If taxes are going up anyway because the Bush rates expire, and Republicans can stop them from going up as much as they otherwise would, then pledge-takers deserve some credit for that.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/27/12]

 

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