Obama talks tough on tax increases for rich
September 19th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

Obama talks tough on tax increases for rich

It was a mixture of policy and red meat in the Rose Garden Monday morning as the president outlined his deficit reduction plan and rebutted GOP critics who argue that he is attempting to pit the wealthy against the middle and lower classes.

"This is not class warfare," Obama said as he urged a tax crease on wealthier Americans. "This is math."

CNNMoney.com has the recap from the rest of the speech:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - President Obama unveiled a plan on Monday to cut the national debt by roughly $3 trillion over the next decade.

Obama's plan reflects his vision for how best to put the country on a more fiscally sustainable course, so it is different in nature than the kind of legislative compromise he was trying to broker this summer during the debt-ceiling debate, a senior administration official said.

A driving principle behind the proposal is that high-income individuals and corporations should pay more in taxes than they do currently so that they will bear some of the burden of debt reduction going forward.

Indeed, in remarks on Monday morning, the president said he'll veto any debt-reduction legislation that cuts benefits and doesn't include higher taxes on the wealthy. "I will not support any plan that puts all the burden on ordinary Americans," he said.


Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. MTATL67

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffett two very wealthy people that are courted and sought after for their money and their advise and yes that includes you Republicans. Boy when they say the rich don’t pay enough in taxes all of sudden they don’t know what they are talking about, they are morons. Well, may I be so moronic to amass such wealth. The GOP and the fiscal terrorist are upset , why? They just spent $269000 on Squirrels in Tennessee and $200,000 on a Chevrolet Corvette simulator in Kentucky. Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann love to say that they run successful business (not as successful as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett). I wonder how successful would a business be if it took in no capital and tried to stay in business just by cutting spending. I am completely on board with the Buffett plan.

    September 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Howard


      September 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • jean2009

        For some reason Howard I think Warren Buffet and Bill Gates know more about this than you. I'll take their word over yours any day.

        September 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • John

      All taxes are not created equal. The taxes Buffet pays and the taxes his secretary pays are two very different forms of taxes. Of course this administration can't seem to tell the truth.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Howard

      Getting Obama reelected has little to do with what's bet for America. Democrats and other vested interests have a lot of money invested in Obama, and they will say, or do anything to get him reelected ... even if it means throwing the American people under the bus.
      People who say they will always support Obama, not matter what, are traitors to America.
      America is MORE important than Obama.
      A President should only receive continued support, based on his performance ... and,
      Obama's performance has run America's economy into the ground.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
      • Special Ops Vet

        What planet are you from? Where have you been for the last Eleven years

        September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • mcdanp

        Throw the American people under the bus? That's a good one. The rich have a vested interest in voting Dems out and have been throwing the American people under the bus for years.

        September 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • John

      How about half a billion on a green job company that was going under – or 4 trillion of tax payer money to the auto companies we will never see again? Need I go on?

      September 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Mike

        Or Even his Buddy at GE who pays no taxes cause he is a strong Dem Supporter... those are the ones that need reform.

        September 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Roger

      How about a breakdown of the companies names that have enjoyed these tax cuts. Let Boehner show the production increase in our country by these companies and how many jobs were created by each company. Show if they moved production off-shore, where and if this production was taken from the American worker and given to a low labor cost country such as Vietnam, China, India etc. I do not think Boehner wants to reveal such facts as they will show that him and others are bald faced liars as we really know they are.
      What was that line again Boehner? Let the tax cuts expire and we will lose American Jobs. How can Boehner keep up the same lies?show more show less

      September 20, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  2. Ray E. Georgia

    I have never heard such blatent retoric coming from a Politician before. Obama makes no bones about taxing the so-called rich. Class Warfare at it's worst. It is right up there with Bill Clinton saying, We could give more money to the people but thay wouldn' t know how to spend it. It is glaringly the Liberal/Progressive plan that failed in the old Soviet Union and has failed here. But they keep trying. So far we have a 14.5 Trillion Dollar Fderal Debt, 15 Percent living below the Poverty line, 46 Million on Food Stamps etc, etc. There was an election last fall. People rejected the Nanny State. But Obama doesn't have a clue. Do you?

    September 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • John

      Watch out. The dems are out in force. This guy has been horrible for this country and now we really see how he spent our money. But yet the dumb dems want to give him more money to waste. 5 million per green job created? I don't see a problem there – how about you dems?

      September 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Mildly Amused

      You rupgs and Tea Baggers have such short memories! No president in history has wasted as much money as George W Bush did for 8 long years! Bush lied about the huge cost of his illegitmate war and then looted social security to help pay for his war of lies! Obama's stimulus has INDEED improved our economy and resulted in over 3 million jobs! Where are all of the jobs that Bush's so-called "job creators" were going to make while they watched our country go down the drain? HMM? If Bush's policies were so great, then WHERE ARE ALL THE JOBS? idiots!

      September 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Wow ... how is the Kool-aid down there .....

        September 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  3. Parky Bill

    Question for all Republicans. Journalists, pay heed. This is what you should be asking them.

    "Since you have declared the president's suggestion that the mega rich pay taxes at the same rate as those in the middle class as "class warfare," which side are YOU on?

    September 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  4. carlos S

    i hate when people say you get punished for success by paying taxes, first of all no rich people are getting punished they are just paying a amount that's reasonable no one is going to take their hard earned money. They have to contribute more to there nation, and if the rich are in our country they all must do what they can to alleviate the struggles that we are facing. If they love and are good and willing citizen they most show their willingness to make this nation better instead of just taking. Like they say freedom is not free, and without struggle their can be no progress.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  5. Jilli

    Well done Mr. President!

    There's no logical or viable economic reason for the rich to pay a lower tax percentage than a middle class worker. None. These "job creators" haven't fulfilled their part of the bargain – we've seen the lowest job creation rate since WWII under the bush tax cuts. In turn we saw the deficit balloon.

    In the last 30 years the incomes of the top 2% has increased 281% – whereas the middle class has stagnated. The game has been rigged in their favor for too long – much to the demise of this country. It's time for tax equity and equality.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Earth to Jilli... you do realize that your 30 year total includew the Clinton years .... right? A question for you ... is it governments job to give you a job or is it governments job to create a climae where the private sector can grow and create more jobs....

      September 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  6. EdwardCA

    Finally. Giving the rich a pass while knocking the middle class down at every turn is not the way to go. The rich, who haven't been very good at creating those supposed jobs in the past 11 years, need to pay their share. They've proven that tax cuts only go so far. The CONSUMERS who drive this economy need money. Not the rich.

    September 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  7. John

    The United States of America will go down in flames if Rich People have to be a little less rich. You can tell who has more than they need because they fear the poor, uninsured, and unemployed. I guess that if you aren't a Tea Bagger or Republican, then you must be an unpatriotic, lazy, stupid, LIBRUL, traitor.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  8. Susan J.

    Save me from the Liberal hoardes who want to take my money and give it to the unwashed and undeserving. There is a pack of Liberals coming down my street right now with torches and pichforks and they are looking for rich partiiots to kill so they can start the Class War.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  9. jean2009

    It is about time he comes out swinging. The Rethugliklan fools are bleeding this country dry with their welfare for the rich.

    September 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      you seriously don't get it do you jean. where do you think that Bufffet and Gates got their money? it was from people like you that paid for their products. Do you think that they will suffer a loss in wages or profits without passing that increase on to you?

      September 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  10. mcdanp

    When I hear people saying that having the rich pay their fair share of taxes is 'Class Warfare', I want to scream. The rich have been waging war on the little guy forever and getting rich on his blood, sweat and tears. Now they have mostly bought the government and media and have even convinced a lot of little people that they are the job creators and having them pay a bit more in taxes will wreck the economy. Guess what? Bush's unpaid for tax cuts, wars and prescription drug program wrecked the economy, not high taxes.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  11. Marley

    The Bush tax cuts were WELFARE for the rich.

    The Bush tax cuts were so ill-advised that:

    1. Bush's on economic advisors warned him that the tax cuts would cause a recession
    2. They had to pass a second Bush tax cuts bill in 2003 to try to *fix* the first bill passed in 2001.

    It doesn't matter how much DEMAND you create, the economy is limited by SUPPLY. That is why it is called SUPPLY-DEMAND! Your economic policies must take into consideration the effects that they will have on both SUPPLY and DEMAND.

    And SUPPLY is limited, which the trickle-down economic policies of the GOP ignore!

    When SUPPLY has been *maximized*, policies which increase DEMAND will lead to rapid INFLATION because there isn't enough SUPPLY to create enough competition to meet up with the INCREASED DEMAND.


    This is why TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMIC POLICIES of the GOP never work!

    This isn't too hard to understand. To see this clearly in effect, look at the SUPPLY of OIL.

    Because of increased DEMAND for OIL, oil companies can safely REDUCE output of OIL SUPPLY. This is what OPEC has done. It has repeatedly reduced its output of SUPPLY of OIL. As a result, the price of OIL has INCREASED.

    Drilling more in the US will not fix this problem either. More drilling in the US means OPEC can reduce its oil output to keep prices high.

    The only solution is ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. There is more SUPPLY of other alternative energy. And alternative companies will compete with OIL based energy companies. This will satisfy DEMAND while bring energy prices down.

    It is not that companies purposely reduce to SUPPLY to increase prices. It is because reducing supply and increasing prices is what markets do in a CAPITALISTIC economy! You do it to increase profits!

    The only reason the Obama and Dems have kept the Bush tax cuts still in place right now is because of the recession. But now that the recession has been over for almost 2 years, it is becoming clear that the Bush tax cuts are no longer helping the economy grow. The Bush tax cuts must not be renewed or else the same inflationary bubble will occur again and cause another big recession!

    So again, the Bush tax cuts are WELFARE for the RICH. They increase profits by reducing SUPPLY – including hiring less people – and raising prices.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Funny how you talk about failed Bush welfare for the rich and alternative energy in the same breath. What about all of the Dem $$ going to billionaires to bankrupt companies like Solyndra. Get all this money out of DC. The more they tax (anyone) the more reason and ability for corruption. Smaller gov't=less fleecing.

      You want to know why Buffett and Gates are "supporting" the president in tax increases for the rich? It's because they know it's coming anyway and by showing support now, they can garner better deals for themselves. They aren't rich because they are stupid...If they have money to "pay more in taxes" why don't they use that money to hire instead? They are playing you for suckers.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • C-Lo

      By they way, the fallacy in your supply/demand scenario is as follows:

      In a limited gov't capitalistic society, when demand goes up and supply drops, without heavy barriers to entry (gov't regulations) new players step in to supply the increased demand because of the profit motive, regardless of similar or alternative sources. Laws preventing monopolies and limiting oligarchies have been pushed aside by DC (both parties) for decades. Larger gov't means more regulations, aka barriers to entry, that help large "evil" corporations.

      Your scenario of inflation is myopic in that it addresses one commodity. True inflation on a macro-economic scale, is produced by the infusion of money into the system. The hidden inflation we are about to see crush this country will be the result of QE2–increased borrowing/printing of $$ by the Private "Federal" Reserve to support the Dem's insaciable thirst for spending.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  12. Ben Dover

    Like GWB said to the Republican base: "You are my base....those that have....and those that have more".

    President Obama....TAX THEM HARD...THEN TAX THEM MORE.!

    September 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  13. Shakiba Johnson

    I think the fact is that the republicans are against President Obama plans because he's African american, DEMOCRATIC and that he's the president. Everyone knows that the problems that the united states have are do to the fact that when bush was president he messed up the economy going after oil and not weapons of mass distruction. We know just as well as the republicans do that he's to blame and not President Obama. I feel that when President Obama became president he intended and is going to make the United States a better country. The republicans are against anything that dont benifit them in anyway. I think that Obama is doing the right thing Taxing the the wealthy and if the Republicans are against it they should not CALL THEMSELVES americans.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  14. Dave

    If Obama would only give some sort of appreciation for how much the "rich" already pay, maybe they wouldn't mind paying a little more. Just a thought.

    September 20, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    That's it Jilli! I agree! @Mildly Amused, you got that right! Job creators? Who in the world are they these days? Oooops! I forgot, it's the governments job to create jobs! It couldn't be the ones who have been enjoying the BUSH tax cuts for over 10 years and for that very reason, I thought. Now they want to kick, scream and holler when they're being asked to go back to their true and 'just' tax rates, and calling it 'raising their taxes'. They're 'hee-ing and haw-ing' like a bunch of old buzzards circling!

    September 20, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  16. C-Lo

    Libs keep asking where the jobs were during the Bush years. Ironically, they were there, in the US private sector. A terrorist attack that basically shut down the US economy for a full week and staggered it for months afterwards hit 8 months into Bush's presidency...on the heals of a market bubble burst in 2000 UNDER CLINTON! You want to talk about inheriting a bad situation??? Yet unemployment remained between 4.5 and 6% (5% being considered healthy by most economists).

    Fast forward to 2006. DEMS take control of Congress and Unemployment starts moving up. Why? Let's say your boss comes to you one day and tells you there is a very strong likelihood you will be seeing a 15-20% cut in pay plus you will have to pay more for your benefits. How do you react? Normal people begin preparing for this reduction in bring home pay by limiting expenses, putting off home improvements, making that 5 year old car ready to go another 2, 3, 4 years, etc.

    Prudent businesses act the same way. When they saw the potential of higher taxes and lower sales (reduced income) and costs of business (regulations, inflation, forced benefits, etc.), they made the prudent choice to limit their exposure and hold on to cash reserves heading into an hostile, or at least unknown, business environment.

    The liberal mindset, on the otherhand, seems to be (based on comments I see here) that the family, business and country should continue to live high on the hog and if income can't support the lifestyle, then borrow–mortgage yourself to the neck, run up the credit cards, print more bonds for China to buy. Hopefully one day your income will come back and you can pay off the debt. And if not, who cares? You can always file bankruptcy. This is the reality the Republicans were showing during the summer standoff, when the Dems refused to allow any of their proposals to reach the Senate (Thanks Harry Reid!) or threaten veto at O's desk. There is your obstructionist attitude and, according to some, treason.

    September 20, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • C-Lo

      And by the way, the reason unemployment is "only" 9+% is because of the large # of people no longer in unemployment lines because they don't qualify after 2 years of doing nothing. This is also a main reason the "poverty" figures and welfare are increasing.

      Remember, EVERY DOLLAR THE GOV'T SPENDS HAD TO BE EARNED FIRST IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN SOME WAY! Ruin the private sector you bankrupt gov't

      September 20, 2011 at 10:01 am |
      • Debra

        I much prefer ifrnomative articles like this to that high brow literature.

        October 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  17. C-Lo

    Here's some truth for you libs...

    September 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    How can 'we the people' ruin the private sector? We gave them tax cutson the grounds and belief that they would start creating jobs and hiring Americans! THEY DIDN'T THOUGH! They continued to produce and hire overseas workers and kept the BUSH taxcuts monies in their pockets! 'The jobs were there, in the private sector'? Well, why aren't they hiring then? Private Sector has duped it's ownself and us too, out of GREED; like WALL STREET did! Difference is, they were getting bailed out all along with taxcuts!

    September 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Liz, businesses, unlike many American individuals, look past the present. They PLAN for financial unknowns. When the Dems took control of the Senate in 06, unemployment started creeping because companies knew what the Dem win meant for 08. Tax cuts that had kept the economy moving, and gaining strength were offset by fear, that was later realized when "we the people" passed the monstrocity of a heathcare bill that is, and will continue, to drive up employment costs for businesses. Why are they sitting on so much cash?

      Because they anticipated (rightfully so) their cost of business would be going up under Dem rule, they have to sit on cash to survive the economic tsunami of Dem (we the people) policies are imposing on them. This is how "we the people" ruin the private sector.

      Gov't takeover of industries (Communism) ruins the private sector. Overbearing gov't taxes and regulations on businesses (Socialism) ruins the private sector. In the US gov't is supposedly "we the people" so these are the ways "we the people" ruin the private sector.

      I know I repeated ad nauseum, but hope that this makes sense. Whether you agree with commie/socialist ideals vs. a free, private sector economy is a philosophical debate, but these are the FACTS of how "we the people" ruin the private sector.

      Repeal the affordable helathcare act 2010 (a huge and unknown "tax" on business), and see how many jobs are created.

      September 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Liz Carter in Georgia

    C-Lo, what? 'unemployment started creeping' when the DEMS took control of the Congress in 2006? I can appreciate your thoughtful analogy of what transpired, especially the part about the PYCHIC business owners knowing what a DEM win would mean on 2008! LOL! So I take it that you're saying businesses only started moving out of the US so they could operate for less, pay LESS or NO taxes, shipping/contracting work overseas, merging and shutting down out of fear of what they FORESAW DEMS in Congress MIGHT do!?

    September 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  20. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I started working when I was 15 years old, as soon as I was able to get a student workers permit. I worked at quite a few private sector companies/businesses, including an insurance company which downsized; shipping half of the work the parent co in VA way back in the late 60s, early 70s; causing a 'rif' (reduction in force) of half of its' employees of which I was one. Companies have been merging, moving, selling out over 30 years! A major dept store who hired SO MANY people, sold out to another store...

    September 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  21. Liz Carter in Georgia

    ...All of those people were put out in the streets! This happened in or around the late 80s early 90s. We had in my city, once upon a time, a whole boulevard that was known mainly as THE place one could just about go and get a job; warehouses, furniture builders, clothing manufacturers, recycling companies, hotels, distribution centers, linen manufacturing, just to name a few! ALL of those companies are gone now! They sold out, merged, closed down or moved starting in the 1980s-2000s. This isn't NEW.

    September 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  22. Liz Carter in Georgia

    C-Lo, I became employed full-time (career) for the federal government, Jan 1970 and was employed with the agency until Dec 2002. I remember when computers were first being installed in our offices..late 70s I think, or it may have been early 80s, but anyway there were many of us who were afraid that our jobs would be cut out because so much of our work could be now be done by less people on the computer. Well that is exactly what happened. People started being let go for all sorts of unorthodoxed reasons.

    September 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  23. Liz Carter in Georgia

    ...That's what the government itself does much of the time! It works oftentimes like business; taking work from a unit, (downgrading GS paygrades) shifting work to another unit, (possibly upgrading those) completely disbanding whole units, merging divisions. We have had work sent out to be done by contractors...they wouldn't be liable to health and life ins, pensions, etc. If it can get the same volume and quality of work out with less people, it will! As I mentioned earlier, I retired in 2002; I saw this!

    September 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  24. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You try to defend them for sitting on the cash instead of hiring people by claiming they're trying to survive the economic tsunami? Well, that was not what the tax cuts money was meant for. What about the poor jobless AMERICANS, who would like also to survive the tsunami? People whom if they were working could purchase the goods and services produced and offered by these businesses and corporations, thereby producing some stimulation to the economy. Do you expect the economy to recover when folks can't buy?

    September 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm |