Lawmakers are already looking past today’s election and gearing up for an ugly tax battle during the lame duck session starting next week. House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, told Politico’s Jake Sherman on Monday night that he will not even consider raising taxes on people making more than $1 million, let alone on individuals earning more than $200,000, which President Obama has promised to do if he is reelected. Obama has also promised to raise taxes on couples earning more than $250,000 a year.
The ongoing fight over the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, which benefits all income earners, has played a pivotal role in this year’s election. Democrats have vowed to extend the cuts to middle-class families and individuals while Republicans want to extend the tax breaks to all income earners for another year.
“We’re not raising taxes on small-business people,” Boehner said, citing an Ernst and Young study claiming that raising taxes on millionaires would “cost our economy 700,000 jobs. Why in the world would we want to do that?”
Boehner’s comments hint at the challenge President Obama will have in negotiating the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts during the lame duck session. Boehner hasn’t been the only one playing hardball on tax negotiations. Last month, the president threatened to veto any bill that includes a tax cut extension to top income earners.
If a compromise isn’t reached by year-end, the Bush-era tax cuts will expire, as will a slew of other tax credits, and more than $1 trillion in automatic defense and domestic spending cuts will take effect, causing taxes to shoot up by $4 trillion over the next decade.
“I think it’s important that we avoid the fiscal cliff, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested in raising tax rates and killing jobs,” Boehner told National Journal’s Reid Wilson on Sunday.
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