In the ongoing deadlock over the prospect of raising the federal debt limit, a sticking point has been whether or not any deal would include tax increases. These have euphemistically been referred to by Democrats, and chiefly by President Obama, as efforts to “raise revenue.”
On July 16, for instance, Bloomberg News reported that “President Barack Obama said Republican lawmakers should agree to raising revenue in any deficit-cutting deal, noting he has agreed to consider cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare.”
Said the President: “I’m willing to do what it takes to solve this problem, even it it’s not politically popular.... I expect leaders in Congress to show that same willingness to compromise.”
The White House has continued to push for increased revenue through tax increases, mainly on “the rich” and on corporations. At a July 22 “town hall” meeting at the University of Maryland, President Obama insisted that increasing revenue through taxes on high earners and corporations was necessary.
“[W]e can’t just close our deficit with spending cuts alone,” the President said. He went on to warn that spending cuts alone would result in seniors, students, and the unemployed facing higher costs.
Relying on spending cuts alone, he said, “means that seniors would have to pay a lot more for Medicare, or students would have to pay a lot more for student loans. It means that laid-off workers might not be able to count on temporary assistance or training to help them get a new job. It means that we’d have to make devastating cuts in education and medical research and clean energy research — just at a time when gas prices are killing people at the pump.”