Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Obama Seeks New Taxes on Rich

At Wall Street Journal, "Budget Would Raise Levies on Some Dividends; GOP Dismisses 'Campaign Document'":

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called on Congress Monday to enact new taxes on the wealthy, restructure the tax code and approve short-term spending measures as part of an election-year budget plan aimed at boosting job growth and helping the middle class.

Mr. Obama's $3.8 trillion budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 was quickly dismissed by congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidates as a political document that fails to seriously tackle the nation's growing debt.

The proposal "isn't really a budget at all; it's a campaign document," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said. "Once again, the president is shirking his responsibility to lead and using this budget to divide."

The budget underscores the White House's bet that it can convince voters in November that increased spending in the short term is needed to jolt the economy before steps are taken to shrink the federal deficit in the long term. "At a time when our economy is growing and creating jobs at a faster clip, we've got to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track," Mr. Obama said at a community college in northern Virginia.

The budget projects the deficit will exceed $1 trillion in 2012 for the fourth straight year, meaning Mr. Obama won't meet his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Mr. Obama proposed generating $1.7 trillion in new revenue over 10 years largely by ending Bush-era tax cuts for families who earn more than $250,000, restoring the estate tax to its 2009 level and limiting subsidies for oil and gas companies.

He also for the first time proposed raising the tax rate households making more than $250,000 a year pay on dividends, from 15% to as much as 39.6%. The White House said the measure would generate $206 billion in revenue over 10 years.
Continue reading.

And see WSJ's editorial, "The Amazing Obama Budget."