Inhofe blasts Democrats over 'obsession' with raising taxes

“This obsession that the only way to do things is raise taxes, flies in the face of history,” Inhofe said.

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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) countered that Republicans are obsessed with helping millionaires and billionaires rather than the middle class, and said they could prove her wrong by passing the Middle Class Tax Cut Act in the House. 

The bill passed with Democratic support in the Senate earlier this year.

“I’ll tell you what I’m obsessed about, that we passed here a tax cut for 98 percent of the American people and our friends are so upset about the millionaires and billionaires that they won’t pass it in the House,” Boxer said.

Democrats have proposed extending the Bush-era tax rates, which expire at the end of the year, for only those families making less than $250,000 annually. Republicans want the tax rates extended for all income levels because they say tax increases harm small businesses and job creation.

Boxer said Democrats are getting Republicans 98 percent of what they want, since 98 percent of Americans would receive a tax cut if the Democratic plan became law.

“Republicans want to hold up those tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans because they want to keep tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent,” Boxer said. “Republicans want 100 percent. We’re willing to give you 98 percent.”

Lawmakers are working toward a solution to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” which takes place at the end of the year when the Bush-era tax rates expire and sequestration takes effect.