Boehner to Obama: Don't raise taxes

"One of President Obama's predecessors once said that 'an economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs,'" Boehner said. "That president was John F. Kennedy. So let me be clear: Raising taxes on families and small businesses during a recession is a recipe for disaster — both for our economy and for the deficit. Period. End of story."

Boehner delivered these remarks before the City Club of Cleveland, in Cleveland, Ohio. His speech outlined the GOP platform for turning the economy around. 

The Minority Leader called on Obama to work with his party to stop the coming tax hike scheduled to take place in January, when Bush-era tax breaks expire. 

"Unless Congress acts, virtually every American will see their taxes go up on Jan. 1, 2011," Boehner said, adding, "That's why President Obama should work with Republicans to stop all of these job-killing tax hikes."

Obama has vowed to continue the tax cuts benefiting individuals earning less than $200,000 and couples making less than $250,000. But Republicans (and a growing number of Democrats) contend the slipshod economic recovery demands that all of the tax cuts to be extended to keep small businesses from seeing a tax hike next year. 

"According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, Congress's official tax scorekeeper, half of small business income in America — half — would face higher taxes under the president's plan," Boehner said. 

Congress is expected to begin debating the issue in earnest this fall, but a final decision is unlikely to occur before November's election. This means lawmakers will have less than two months to determine the fate of these tax cuts before they expire in January. 

Unlike other tax provisions Congress is looking to extend, the Bush tax cuts affect marginal rates. These rates determine the level of taxes that are taken out of paychecks. 

If the debate slips into next year, companies in January will automatically increase the amount of taxes withheld from workers' paychecks. 


More in In the News

Tavis Smiley to Obama: 'Black folk don't need lectures'

Read more »