Key Obama adviser defends tax plan
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday defended a plan President Obama will announce during the State of the Union that calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and large financial institutions to pay for tax cuts for the middle class and other programs.
“I think this plan the president’s going to talk about on Tuesday night goes to what is the core theme of the State of the Union, which is middle-class economics,” Pfeiffer said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And it’s the simple proposition that, now that the economy’s in a stronger place than it’s been in a very long time, we need to double down on our efforts to deal with wage stagnation and declining economic mobility.”
“And so the simple proposition is that we should ask the wealthy to pay a little more and invest more in the middle class, give the middle class a raise.”
Pfeiffer said there are elements in the plan that Republicans have supported in the past, including higher education tax breaks.
Pfeiffer also said a proposed fee on large financial institutions is “very similar to what was included in the Republican corporate tax reform last year by Republican [former Rep.] Dave Camp [(Mich.)].”
“So are they going to agree on everything? Absolutely not. I think we should have a debate in this country between middle-class economics and trickle-down economics and see if we can come to an agreement on the things we do agree on,” he said.
Pfeiffer said that Republicans “have a very different philosophy about how the economy works.”
“But as I said, there are some ideas here in the middle we need to be able to agree on. And we should make the case,” he added.
Pfeiffer said he expects Obama to talk about “the tremendous progress we’ve made” in the past six years.
“Jobs are growing. Deficit’s been cut in two-thirds. And he’s going to lay out a plan in three parts about how we help the middle class,” he said.
“And we’ve given you a lot of the details in advance to make it easy for everyone up there. But how we make paychecks go farther right now, how we create good-paying jobs right now, and how do we give people the skills they need to get those high-paying jobs, things like free community college, additional child care.”