As debt talks shift to Obama, GOP Speaker John Boehner, and Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, taxes remain the logjam. No one wants to be seen as giving ground on that issue too quickly.
President Obama on Monday engaged congressional leaders one on one in a bid to break partisan deadlocks over the budget, especially the GOP taboo on raising taxes, and to get his administration's derailed debt and deficit negotiations back on track. But it's clear that his starting gambit is to try to persuade Republican lawmakers – and the public – of the need for higher taxes for some Americans.
Tax increases – or at least ending tax breaks for corporations or the highest-income Americans – will have to be in the mix, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday morning after Mr. Obama met with Senate majority leader Harry Reid. “It’s the only way to get it done,” he said.
“Not only are [higher taxes] counterproductive from the standpoint of an economic recovery," he said, "they’re also politically impossible, since Republicans oppose tax hikes and Democrats have already shown they won’t raise taxes in a down economy.”
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