Biden: GOP 'holding middle-class tax cuts hostage'
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a White House Community Leaders Briefing on July 16, 2012 in Washington, DC.
July 24th, 2012
05:49 PM ET

Biden: GOP 'holding middle-class tax cuts hostage'

(CNN) – The White House and Congressional Democrats are using a Senate vote on Wednesday to try and force Congressional action on a tax cut compromise. At issue is President Obama’s proposal to extend only Bush-era tax cuts on income below $250,000 a year, while allowing cuts for everything over that threshold to expire at the end of the year.

In anticipation of the vote, the National Economic Council released a study on Tuesday surveying the economic effects of the president’s plan, and Vice President Joe Biden held a rare conference call with reporters to hammer home the significance of finding a compromise.

“If Congress doesn't get this done, there are going to be 114 million people – middle class families – see their taxes go up and in effect a cut in their wages,” Biden said. “A typical middle class family, making fifty grand, a family of four, is going to pay $2,200 extra.”

Biden was joined by NEC Director Jason Furman and Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. Together the three ran through the potential effects of Congressional inaction.

Inside the NEC study are numerous hypothetical examples that demonstrate the benefits of the president’s plan on various income levels, as well as the potential negative impacts if the plan doesn’t pass. The study also uses evidence from the Treasury Department and the Congressional Budget Office to illustrate many of the points about tax fairness that Obama and his surrogates have been making on the campaign trail in recent weeks.

The study makes the case that tax cuts for the middle class effect more Americans, and that money saved by allowing certain cuts to expire could help pay down the deficit. Two sections offer a defense of the president’s record on tax reduction, and another attacks Republicans for only offering support for a wholesale extension of all expiring tax cuts.

On the call, Biden tried to stress the importance of Wednesday’s vote, even while signaling its likely failure at the hands of united Republican opposition.

“There's this overwhelming concern about what Republicans call decoupling, and they know that if there's a separate vote and the middle class tax cut is in, they don't have the popular support for extending the tax cuts beyond that,” Biden said. “But the Republicans have fixated on extending all the cuts and what they're doing is very simple – and you can understand it from their perspective – they're holding the middle class tax cuts hostage."

Biden and Earnest both emphasized that because Democrats and Republicans agree that an extension of the tax cuts for low- and middle-income workers is vital, the parties should pass a compromise now and then move on to a debate over additional extensions. But Republicans argue that such a move is liable to result in a tax hike on income over the $250,000 annual threshold, which they argue would hurt small businesses and job creators.

“This 'report' states the obvious, raising taxes is bad for the economy,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, referring to the NEC report. “That's why it's troubling that the president would be willing to destroy more than 700,000 jobs by allowing taxes to go up on so many small businesses and families.”

Furman vehemently disputed this jobs estimate, claiming not only is it based on a partisan study, but it also "used assumptions that are completely at variance both with what the president's policies are and with standard economics."

soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. California

    Biden you big buffoon. We all know you and the democrats are holding the country hostage. Ironically you spew what you're doing.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • italmn

      You can't have it both ways buddy.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Reich Wing FAIL

      July 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Howard

      Biden and Obama are such an embarrassment ... as are the brain dead Obama stooges, who blindly believe all the B.S. coming out of the White House ... even though Obama has decimated our economy. America can't afford another 4 years of these fools running our country into the ground.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • DW

        Nobody but the right wing republican dolts are running this country into the ground, get your head out of the sand or whatever you have it stuck in or up.

        July 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • just_a_moderate

        Wow, well-phrased. In the context of "well-phrased for an inbred lunatic with absolutely no statistics, just conviction."

        July 25, 2012 at 9:27 am |
      • Tony T.

        Hey Howard, where the F_ _ _ were you when Alfred E. Newman, aka GW Bush and his NAZI henchmen put us into this mess in the first place! WMD's,a unilateral war, a trillion dollars down the drain. Major Corporations paying zero tax. The only trickle down I see was the tax burden from the rich to the middle class. Hey Howard, blowhard republicans like you are making us a third world country. Two classes; The very rich and the peons. Long live the United Corporations of America!

        July 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      They really don't want the tax cuts.. that is what is ironic... if you look all along they have been calledthe Bush tax cuts... raising revenue is the driving force in a liberls mind tht and spending money... So they can blame the GOP and still get there way if the tax cuts are not extended... Then they can say see we warned you but the evil GOP stood in your way .... of if they get the extension they cansay see ... we fought for you ..... and won.... Win Win for the liberals.... Oh by the way ... they forgot to mention to you that someone hasto pay that tab.... but we can cross that bridge at the next election ... if there is one....

      July 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
      • DW

        You've been drinking that GOP kool aid haven't you.

        July 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • 40 acres

        Gee Bill. I don't recall anywhere in the Republican plan where they say how they will pay for it.....and it's a much bigger bill (costwise). But hey, they didn't pay for it when they first passed it nor did they when they used the unemployed as hostages to get it extended. So I guess that's par for the course.

        July 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Whois he fool.... did you read the article in the money section on what you would pay under the democratic plan... Households with 80K of income would have higher taxes from there up it just gets worse... SO the question is this ... 200/250K and up ... was that a lie or unintended consequences???? Face it ... proof right here on this site show the democrats for what they are ... a pack of liars....

        July 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • John

      It is the GOP holding up the tax cuts for 98% of the Americans. That is how important the 2% is to them....

      July 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        like I said ... win win for the liberals... They even have you drinking the koolaid John! Seriously ... Think about it .. even just a little

        July 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
      • Lizzie

        Love your 98%, forgot that 50% of them don't pay income tax but receive benefits payed for by others.

        July 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Katherine

      Illiterates shouldn't have a vote or any comment on government, You're fighting against yourself and the rest of us in the middle-class. Just shut up and get off the political forums, "California".

      July 25, 2012 at 6:06 am |
      • California

        Katherine – Your hatred of people with a difference of opinion is typical of your liberal self. You continue to be a bitter and hateful person. It's what you liberals do best.

        I forgive you for you not know what you do.

        July 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  2. MTATL67

    SHOCKED – McConnell shot down tax break for importing job back to American.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • grif99999

      Isnt that a different article? Also, how were they going to pay for that bill?

      July 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • DW

      McConnell is as usless as they come, I can't understand how this I.D.I .O.T got back in for another term. In my opinion he just dumped more money in the poor appilacian area and they thought he was just the greatest. Otherwise after he gets back in he could care less about the poor. His brand of politics makes me sick.

      July 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  3. italmn

    Joe is right, The GOP has been holding the entire country hostage in all aspects. Hopefully the Republicans T-Party people in congress will be voted out of office and we can get on with bussiness, Jobs and equality.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      See above... and you already believe them....

      July 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  4. Charlotte

    "tax cuts for the middle class effect more Americans" CNN, will you PUH-LEEEEEZE find a competent copy editor for your online stories. The word is "affect" not "effect." "Effect" is a noun. I believe you want a verb here.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  5. Bob

    "Never take a hostage you aren't willing to shoot"

    Phill gramm.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  6. Bob

    The right wing in the is country is utterly despicable, totally devoid of integrity, posessing no character or any other redeeming feature.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  7. Steveo

    Most THINKING Americans fully know a single issue does not stand on its own. Congress rolls the good and the bad together in a single bill. So what else is being hidden from us in this middle class tax cut bill?

    July 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  8. California

    It's a shame people don't even care they put a communist in the White House in 2008.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Boy, @California, you really need to get an education. You clearly have no idea what Communism is, nor how to recognize it. No thinking person with knowledge of economic systems would ever pretend to think Obama is a Communist, that's for darn sure. It's a pity any old ignoramus with a keyboard is allowed to post garbage on national discussion fora. You types really should stop listening to Faux Noise and go to school instead.

      July 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • DEcember 2012



      July 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Dear, member of the poliburo... Go home!

        July 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
      • DEcember 2012



        July 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        I Knew it....No thanks.... you canhave it all toyourself.

        July 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
      • DEcember 2012



        July 25, 2012 at 9:52 am |
      • Bill in STL

        Me imitation of December ...

        Neener neener neener .... you are dumb ....

        Sounds just like a playground ... complete with name calling and all of it... Grow up!

        Gow read what you would pay in the moeny section and see it that is what Obama promised....

        July 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Pander Bear

      Take your pill and have the nurse wheel you back to the day room.

      July 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • phylee

        That's funny. What is not funny is that I am a psychiatric nurse. You wouldn't believe how many patients we admit because they have become paranoid and delusional from watching fox news. We can't even have it on in the day area because it increases agitation and makes paranoid/delusional people worse.

        July 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • Steveo


        Did you read what you wrote? You treat patients were made delusional and paraniod becuase of Fox News! Whoa wait! Think about this..WHO TOLD YOU THEY WATCH FOX NEWS? Answer... your patients! Why are they your patients? Because they are delsuional and paranoid! Are you following me!?

        All you need to do is present your findings to te AMA or something like that and write a book! I'm betting when you do that, the umployment rate will inch up! Good luck!!

        July 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Steveo

        You let them watch MSNBC?

        July 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • John

      They put the brown shirts in the House. These are the right wing Nazis intent on destroying America. Had enough yet......

      July 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
      • Lizzie

        If there was any brown shirts in the house you would not have time to blog but would be out there digging ditches.

        July 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • just_a_moderate

      That's pathetic. Seriously? The best you have for disagreeing with someone's policies is to incorrectly label them 'communist' and just call it a day?

      It's you and a bunch of fools that didn't go to college who just keep parroting that inaccurate statement.

      It is fair to find Obama's policies objectionable.

      It's just embarrassing to be a putz who doesn't understand what communism, Marxism and socialism are so you just use them interchangeably to mean "stuff you don't like."

      July 25, 2012 at 9:31 am |
      • Steveo

        Not gonna comment about the left calling folkd racists and bigots for the very reasons you spoke of...Policy disagreement?

        July 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  9. rob

    BTW everybody, these are the Bush Middle and lower income tax cuts that the're talking about. Yes, it was George Bush and the Republicans int he Congress who passed these cuts for the people. Tax increases on the wealthy seems to be the only plan the Democrats have to address the financial catastrophy everyone knows is coming.

    Taxing the "Rich" is no plan, the revenues brought in (even if you believe they won't find ways to avoid the tax) would pay for about 2 weeks of total federal spending.

    These people are not serious and need to be voted out!

    July 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • John

      Tax cuts for the 98% now. Let the 2% eat cake........

      July 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
      • 1Joyce

        How about tax cuts for ALL taxpayers. And how about Congress coming up with a plan to reduce spending.

        July 25, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • 40 acres

      Well Rob, that's two weeks more than the Republican plan pays for.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Hey Rob go to the money section of CNN and see what you will really pay under the democratic plan.... They start raising taxes well before that 200/250k level that the president put forward...

      July 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  10. ptny

    If top 2% want tax cuts to stay in place then they have to prove they have "Full time Employees" on tax returns. At least one employee per 100,000.00 earned. So to keep the tax cut an earner of 250,000.00 must have at least 3-5 full time employees. This way we know they are contributing to the employment crises. Some form of evidence that the tax break they are given is truly being used for the purpose to which it was given.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  11. John

    Both parties agree with tax cuts for 98% of the people. Let us do that now.The 2% will have to wait since both parties do not agree. GOP quit holding the Middle Class hostage for the sake of the 2%.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • rj

      If you had a brain and could think for yourself.. you wouldn't buy into the party crap. Not ONE side is holding middle class hostage.. Its BOTH.. They need to come to an agreement.. PERIOD.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  12. John

    This is what happens when the right wing loonies gain power. Had enough yet?????????

    July 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      And how pray tell do they have power??? They are only doing what the liberals did earlier... But oh that is okay cause right is on their side.... Hmmmm

      July 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  13. degazmatic

    From eisenhower to kennedy taxes on the rich was above 70%. In those years the government funded nasa, built the interstate highway, put a man on the moon and outlasted the soviet union in the arms race. Oh and government funded r&d paved the way for microprocessors which gave us macbooks and iphones. Should I mention the internet? Government didnt do that the military did! Hahahaha who funds the military? Staples? Reagan saw taxes cut to 35% and even lower under bush 2. Now america cant even send its own astronauts into space. Remember who said "read my lips, no new taxes' he raised taxes. So did clinton. Guess what. They both but the deficit. Lower taxes create the deficits. Wonder why dick said the deficit doesn't matter? Does it matter america? Where does government get its revenue? Taxes. Trickle down aka voodoo economics dont work. George bush senior said that. If you believe in voodoo economics answer this: what yields more? 50% of 50000 or 5% of 5000000?

    July 24, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Lizzie

      Love it, but you forgot one thing in those years the so-called middle class paid a taxrate of 50%, would you like to go back to that?

      July 25, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Steveo

      Nice info! I'm betting more than 51% of the population were paying taxes by then too!

      July 25, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Mike

      The polls show 10 % are undecided on who they want to vote for. I doubt it. If you are undecided than you would have to be an idiot. One party is pro-choice, for the middleclass, for healthcare, the other party is for the opposite. If you don't know where you stand than you need a good psychiatrist.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • Steveo

        Pro0-choice just as your not the baby!

        July 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  14. California

    Either extend them all or let them all expire.

    Class warfare needs to end liberals.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Well said... Well said indeed!

      July 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • 40 acres

      Actually Cali, they are extended for all on income below the income limit (see the rich get a tax cut too). It's only a rate increase on income above 200,000 (ind.) or 250,000 (fam). So if you make 200,001 dollars in income you will pay the higher rate on one dollar.

      July 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Better go loonk in teh money section there40.... The democratic plan passedtoday will start that tax increase at 80k for some families.... Drink dat koolaid boys!

        July 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  15. antony

    california i think you are one of 2%. they talking about or you just dont like a blackman be your president

    July 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Steveo

      Racist ignorance grows like a mushroom !

      July 25, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • Bill in STL

        Especially among takers, ummm Liberals... um .... whatever

        July 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  16. Out Of Touch with reality

    biden, you really are an idiot, I bet you are like obama, never had a job or cut a payroll.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  17. bb

    These 2 clowns in office have done nothing for 3 plus years, lets get rid of this scum, these dems are so far in over thier heads it makes me want to puke. Even fienstien can smell a rat Oblunder & Bozo Biden need to be tried for treason

    July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  18. bb

    California is 100% right the rest of you suck ups are un american jerks freeloading like Oblunder, Bozo biden, go out and get a job, oh, oblunder wont create any !!!!! Quit sucking the life out of the system welfare junkies

    July 25, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • just_a_moderate

      you short-sighted fool. drop the welfare junk and quit assuming that the unemployed are the ones that care about how we tax income v. capital gains.

      seriously? you really think that the dividend rate is a key concern for the poor?

      let's have an adult conversation about jobs and job creation. our tax policies following WWII and in 1997's reform had significant reductions in capital gains rates for long-term holds. that's good for the economy.

      97% of small businesses are under the 250k so none of this argument is over job creators. there is simply no reasonable basis to say that these types of tax cuts are directly helpful to small business and certainly not in any proportion to the total cost of the tax cut. to give a main st. business a nickel, we're giving speculators a dollar's worth of break. that's not good for the country. that's what tax policy should be based on.

      from your grammar, i'm guessing that you didn't attend college. do you work? let's assume you do. do you see any reason why your tax rate should be higher than someone earning a million dollars a year in interest from a trust fund?

      or how about your doctor? why should your doctor need to pay 2-3x's as much tax as someone trading paper for a living?

      forget this class warfare myth. the war that the right is engaging in is where all the W2 employees pay all the taxes and schedules A-E go to zero. it's ludicrous.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:40 am |
      • bb

        Dude get a life

        July 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Take a look at the democratic tax increase that passed the senate today ... bottomline the democratic bill is more complex and starts with families earning 80k... I thought that Obama said 200/250K???

        July 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  19. sftommy

    The American voter will decide this in November. Neither party will do anything but point fingers until then.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  20. bb

    Oblameo & Bozo Biden welfare junkie Kings. Hows that for grammer, you commie???

    July 25, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  21. bb

    Oh Char, u arent coping with your hostilties in a very adult manner-- these guys are commies and you no-ti where is the great sen joe when you need him???

    July 25, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • DEcember 2012



      July 25, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  22. jerry

    As a conservative...all I have to say about this idiot is: "thanks Joe for the help"... this dim wit supported the war in Iraq as did Kerry and Clinton then turned on the president and the troops when it served them politically....he couldn't tell the truth or work straight up if he were paid to do so...oh wait, is paid to do so.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  23. Mike

    The polls show 10 % are undecided on who they want to vote for. I doubt it. If you are undecided than you would have to be an idiot. One party is pro-choice, for the middleclass, for healthcare, the other party is for the opposite. If you don't know where you stand than you need a good shrink.

    July 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Steveo

      Pro choice, jbut ust as long as your not the baby!

      July 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • jerry

      goat keep popping out those welfare babies don't you?

      July 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  24. judy

    californias republican governor got them in this big mess. You voted for this clown and you have the nerve to complaine about the president. Just like the country californias democratic governor is now trying to clean up the mess left by the repo. But you idiots complaine about Joe and would have voted for a palin . Get real! It will take at least another 4 years to clean up the mess you have left this country in. Forward 2012

    July 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Steveo

      You angling for a late night comedy show? For the last 42 of 42 years, California's state senate has been owned by liberals. For the last 40 of 42 years, Cali's lower house has been owned by liberals! Nobody in their right mind believed Arnie Kennedy was a conservative! He was a RINO! Cali has been owned by LIBERALS! Feel free to take your binders off! at anytime!

      July 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Lizzie

      Cleaning up Calli by declaring bankruptcy.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Ray E. (Georgia)

      Excuse me Judy. Wasn't California in a horrible mess before Arnold? Did you forget there was a Re-Call?? Sooner or later California will realise there is no free lunch. Maybe the current Occupant of the White House will realise it too, but don't hold your breath.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • Steveo

        Ray, there was a recall! They recalled Grey Davis, who was a .....(wait for it)...liberal democrat! Oopsie!

        July 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  25. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It is actually Big Liberal Social Programs that are holding the Country Hostage. People need jobs. Obama Care and Regulations that are Strangling Business are keeping Business from hiring. People can take care of themselves. But, Obams said, THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS DOING JUST FINE and, YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT, THE GOVERNMENT DID IT FOR YOU. So which is it? Anybody buying Biden's Snake Oil??

    July 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  26. jp

    the Bush tax cuts are for EVERYONE!!!!! renew them or....let them let them expire


    OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP SPENDING THE PEOPLE'S MONEY!!!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  27. Montykoolaid

    Now, with inflation and the increase in the number of taxpayers among other variables, one would think using a non adjusted flat number to compare taxes taken in for differint time periods would be...well...stupid.

    What would that mean about next years taxes taken in?

    OH MY GOD IT WOULD BE AN ALL TIME HIGH! And the next year?


    If you think it is fair for a hardworking American to sweat for his paycheck and get taxed at a MUCH higher rate than a millionaire or billionaire, well, your either a millionaire/billionaire...

    Or your an idiot.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  28. trex

    ..........GOP hurting average Americans?..................................When exactly did that not be news?

    July 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  29. BLKMANnAmerica

    What else is new.................repuks are disgusting and play these games every day of the week.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  30. jerry

    No jobs=no money=starvation. obama couldn't create a REAL job if his life depended on it. And folks we need real private sector jobs and we need them can't expect an avowed Marxist like obama to do this...the obama experiment is over...dont let him fool you again...please.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  31. grumpiest

    I don't understand, they keep talking about these job creators, what is a job creator. Taxes have been cut since way back when, I have not seen any job creators busting down any doors to start any businesses or do any mass hiring. So tell me, who are these people and why haven't we heard of them until it comes to the expiration of the tax cuts. And talking about the upper class paying what they used to and with a little less write-offs. Or do the upper class really need all that money so they can sport their financial status by driving fancy cars and live in their little mansions. And throw their party a fund raiser dinner. PEOPLE... You can not take it with you, quit being so dang greedy, pay your employees good and keep them healthy, those billions of dollars you are hording are not going to be that valuable to you when you are dead and gone.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  32. Frank Marshall Davis

    Biden is crazier than an outhouse rat.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  33. trex

    .............the Ttard led gop is ONLY HELPING THE VERY WEALTHY AND THE STUPID OF THE COUNTRY.........

    July 26, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Steveo

      Man, man,man! Didn't YOU get a tax rebate check when Bush was in office? So let's repeat your statement. Shall me?

      The GOP is ONLY helping the wealth and the stupid of the country. Since you only gave 2 categories here.... Are you wealthy? Yet YOU got a check! Since you're not wealthy, there is but one category that remains..............

      July 28, 2012 at 8:56 am |