Obama: Hike Taxes on Hedge Funds

Obama: Hike Taxes on Hedge Funds

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Obama didn’t end his push for more tax revenues with the fiscal cliff deal. He was just getting warmed up—and Wall Street types are in his cross-hairs again.
The president told CBS News in an exclusive interview that he plans to limit deductions and loopholes for wealthier Americans, and specifically mentioned the carried interest rate paid by private equity and hedge fund executives.

His 2013 budget proposal spelled out this approach, but the president now has more breathing room to articulate his view after the cliff deal raised rates on household incomes above $450,000.

“Can we close some loopholes and deductions that folks who are well connected and have a lot of accountants and lawyers can take advantage of so they end up paying lower rates than a bus driver or a cop?” Obama said. “If you combine those things together a budget deal could reduce the deficit “without raising rates again.” -  Read more at The New York Times

REID DEMANDS REVENUE IN SEQUESTER DEAL   Here’s why we should expect the sequester to happen—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants a tax hike to supplant much of the spending cuts slated for domestic and national security budgets on March 1.

House Republicans have little incentive to agree with him, even if Reid keeps on invoking poll showing support for soaking the rich a little bit more. “The American people are on our side,” Reid told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. “The American people don’t believe in these austere things. We believe that the rich should contribute. We believe we should fill those tax loopholes — get rid of them, I should say. And that’s where we need to go.”  -  Watch the interview at ABC

DEFENSE OFFICIALS SHAME LAWMAKERS FOR SEQUESTER    With Republicans  increasingly willing to let the sequester cuts happen, the Pentagon is trying to stir up public outrage. Of course, the outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta did not implicate his boss for the consequence of the gridlock. “I have to tell you it is irresponsible for it to happen. I mean, why in God's name would members of Congress, elected by the American people, take a step that would badly damage our national defense, but more importantly undermine the support for our men and women in uniform?" Panetta told NBC’s Meet the Press. "If Congress stands back and allows sequester to take place, I think it would really be a shameful and irresponsible act.”  - Read more at The Hill

NYT: REPUBLICANS WRONG, RAISE REVENUES    The New York Times’ editorial board joined the bandwagon, criticizing the GOP for threatening to allow sequestration. Not sure how much this changes the game, since most Republicans take pride in not having any marching orders from the Grey Lady.

But the editorial board rationale is critical—the sequester causes growth to stall, or worse.

 “With the economy teetering on a knife edge, it is clear that this is the worst moment to initiate an indiscriminate budget cut. Government spending at this time can spell the difference between growth and shrinkage. But Republicans are willfully blind to this reality.” The Times’ editorial board parrots the calls from President Obama and Reid to raise revenue to replace some of the spending cuts. -   Read more at The New York Times


Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.