Obama Will Insist on Tax Hikes in Budget Deal

October 17, 2013 - 5:46 AM

Obama Budget Battle

President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - As part of the deal to end the government shutdown and extend the debt limit, the House and Senate have agreed to begin long-stalled budget negotiations. The conferees planned to meet Thursday morning for breakfast -- to "break the ice," the Associated Press reported.

Once the actual talks get underway, President Obama will insist that tax hikes be part of the solution.

"The president has insisted that in the budget negotiations that he's been calling for all year, everything has to be on the table. And that will be his position going forward," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday.

Carney said what Obama believes is fair is reflected in the fiscal 2014 budget proposal he's already submitted. At the same time, Carney said Obama knows that neither he nor anyone else will get everything they want in a final deal.

"And that's the nature of compromise," Carney said.

"But he firmly believes that balance, when it comes to further reducing our deficits and building on the work that has been done over these past four years in which we have reduced our deficits...by half, we need to continue to take a balanced approach so that no sector of society unfairly has to bear the brunt of that project. That's always been his position and it will be his position moving forward."

"Balance" to Obama means tax hikes.

On Wednesday night, Obama said now that the government shutdown has ended and the debt limit  has temporarily been lifted, "we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, and that helps hardworking people all across this country."

In his 2014 budget proposal, President Obama said, "The American people understand that we cannot just cut our way to prosperity. That is why I have repeatedly called for a balanced approach to deficit reduction."

He agreed to make spending cuts he doesn't like -- "if congressional Republicans agree to meet me in the middle by eliminating special tax breaks and loopholes so millionaires and billionaires do their fair share to cut the deficit."

Obama's plan to "rebalance the tax code" would take more from the rich and give more to the poor.

Specifically it would raise taxes on hedge fund managers; prohibit individuals from accumulating more than $3 million in tax-preferred retirement accounts; return estate tax to 2009 levels and prevent wealthy Americans from using "sophisticated tax planning" to reduce their estate tax liability.

It also would impose a "financial crisis responsibility fee" on large financial institutions.

For non-wealthy Americans, Obama wants to expand the child-care and dependent-care tax credit and "provide permanent tax relief for working families and students."

Earlier this year, House Speaker John Boehner said President has already gotten his tax hikes on the wealthy, which took efect on January 1. "The talk about raising revenue is over," Boehner said in March. "It’s time to deal with the spending problem.” Boehner has repeated that sentiment on numerous occasions since then.