Home  »  Economy  »  Blink Or Gaffe?: Biden Says Obama Will Negotiate On Rate Of Tax Hike


Dec 7, 2012 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits

Excerpted from Buzz Feed: WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that the Obama administration is flexible about raising tax rates on the nation’s highest earners, as long as they do rise.

“There are two irreducible minimum requirements for us,” Biden said at a lunch with Americans who would be affected by the fiscal cliff. “The top brackets have to go up — this is not a negotiable issue; theoretically we can negotiate how far up. But we think it should go — the top rate should go to 39.6%.”

Biden’s remark is the first official acknowledgement by the White House that they are not demanding rates rise to the Clinton-era level as part of an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff…keep reading…

Excerpted From The Hill: Vice President Biden on Friday hinted that the administration could be flexible on the issue of raising tax rates on upper-income earners.

The Obama administration has said it will not agree to a fiscal deal this month that does not increase the top 35 percent individual income tax rate.

That rate will rise to 39.6 percent in January, unless Congress extends the current rates.

Biden indicated that the White House could in theory agree to a rate lower than 39.6 percent in a deal with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“The top brackets have to go up — this is not a negotiable issue; theoretically we can negotiate how far up,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

Biden added that “we think it should go — the top rate should go to 39.6 percent,” however.

The hint of openness to compromise came on a day when Boehner did not immediately shoot down accepting a rate higher than 35 percent, but lower than 39.6 percent, in a morning press conference. His office later released a statement making clear Boehner remains opposed to increasing tax rates.

“As I’ve said many, many, many times: I oppose tax rate increases because tax rate increases cost American jobs. That has not changed, and will not change,” Boehner said in the follow-up emailed statement.

The speaker has put $800 billion in tax revenue on the table, to be raised from limiting tax breaks. This compares to $1.4 trillion in revenue in the Obama plan.