Conservative Group Blasts GOP Leadership

Conservative Group Blasts GOP Leadership

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Conservative groups are less than amused with Republicans who are considering raising revenue in exchange for entitlement cuts in fiscal cliff negotiations.

Brent Bozell, chairman of For America, a conservative action group, wrote an angry letter to Republican leaders Tuesday, blasting the lawmakers for putting tax increases on the table.

“You led the Republican Party for two years claiming emphatically that the tax increase on “the wealthy” … is really a devastating tax hike on small business owners that would kill jobs and decimate any kind of economic recovery,” the letter said. “Now conservatives see daily stories asserting that the GOP agrees with the President that “revenues are on the table” and GOP elite are all over the airwaves asking if the Tea Party will care if “a few multi-millionaires pay more in taxes.”

The group said that by agreeing to raise revenue, Republicans are only emboldening Democrats to demand higher taxes.

“Liberals feel comfortable making such outlandish proposals because they feel you are weak enough that you will continue to surrender to evermore higher taxes having capitulated once already. They will never be satisfied. You know that.”

The letter was sent just days after a handful of senior Republicans publicly distanced themselves from conservative activist Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge.  -  Read the letter here

CLIFF CAMPAIGNS DIG DEEPER TRENCHES   President Obama isn’t the only one campaigning for his deficit reduction plan. House Republicans are gearing up to hold a counter campaign arguing against the president’s proposal to raise tax rates on the rich.

Small businesses are caught in the cross hairs of the dueling campaigns. Republicans are tailoring their message to small business owners, arguing that an increase in the marginal income rate over $250,000 a year will hurt business owners who file as individuals. They will be holding events and visiting small businesses “to emphasize the threat to jobs posed by Congressional Democrats’ small-business tax hike,” according to House Speaker John Boehner’s office. Meanwhile, President Obama met with small business owners at the White House today, touting his claim that his proposed tax rate increases will not affect 97 percent of small businesses.

While the two sides are busy trying to find public allies, an agreement to stave off massive spending cuts and tax hikes slated for the beginning of next year seems to be miles in the distance. Congressional staffers told The Hill newspaper that negotiations  have proceeded slowly since Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House two weeks ago.  -  Read more at The Hill

HOUSING INDUSTRY JOINS FISCAL FIGHT   The housing industry has joined the fiscal fight in Washington to lobby for extending the mortgage interest tax deduction, without which, experts say could throw a wrench in the housing recovery.

"[Getting rid of it] would throw the housing sector into turmoil ... and chill the market just as it is trying to recover," Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, told CNN.  -  Read more at CNN

WHY LOTTERY WINNERS CAN LOSE FORTUNES   It could be a very unlucky time to be the lucky winner of Wednesday’s 425 million Powerball jackpot. Whether Congress and the White House  reach an agreement on deficit reduction by the end of the year or not, new taxes on the rich are bound to take a large chunk of the prize money.

Financial advisors usually recommend lottery winners spread their winnings out over several years to avoid temptations of spending the money too quickly. But with the fiscal cliff threatening to shrink the prize money through a bundle of new tax hikes, advisors are recommending that the winner takes the lump sum as soon as possible.

“A lump sum could save you millions in taxes,” Matthew Goff, a financial adviser in Houston, told Marketwatch.  -  Read more at Marketwatch

For more news on the approaching fiscal cliff, follow us on Twitter @Fiscalcliffnote

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.