Vice President Joe Biden came out swinging today in advance of tomorrow’s U.S. Senate vote on President Obama’s tax proposal.
“It’s a simple proposition – we’re proposing to extend the middle-class tax cut for 98 percent of the American people” – those making up to $250,000 per year, Biden told reporters on a conference call.
If the tax cuts aren’t extended, 114 million people will see their taxes increase by thousands of dollars, he said. Biden was citing figures from a new report from the National Economic Council.
“This shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” he said. “But the Republicans have fixed on extending all the cuts… They’re holding the middle-class tax cut hostage.”
Republicans propose continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, regardless of income. Biden said extending the cuts for those making more than $250,000 per year would cost $1 trillion over next decade, almost 80 percent of which would go to those making more than $1 million a year (who would continue enjoying an average tax cut of $160,000 per year). “What’s happening here is the very wealthy are getting the vast bulk of all of what the Republicans want to extend,” he said.
“The other side claims this is the best way to grow the economy,” Biden said – a continuation of “trickle down” economic policies. “The problem is, we’ve seen that movie before, and we know how it ends. It didn’t work before. In the beginning of the decade, congress passed trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans more than anybody else.”
“What happened? The rich got richer… but most Americans got nailed. We had the slowest job growth in half a century after 2000, the typical family actually saw their income fall.”
In fact, Biden said, the Republicans’ tax proposal actually would hit millions of poor and middle-class Americans with higher taxes while protecting the wealthy.
He said that under the GOP plan, 11 million people will take a $1,100 tax hike because the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses won’t be extended; 12 million will take an $800 tax hike due to elimination of recent child tax credit improvements; and 6 million will take a $500 tax hike due to elimination of marriage and large-family provisions under the Earned Income Tax Credit program.