Republicans Gearing Up For Fight Over Obama’s Tax Increase Proposal

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

In State of the Union Address, Obama to Move Past Hardship and Reset Goals.

WASHINGTON — With the American job market surging to life, President Obama plans to use his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to effectively declare victory over the economic hard times that dominated his first six years in office and advocate using the nation’s healthier finances to tackle long-deferred issues like education and income inequality. WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are already signaling they will do what they can to block President Barack Obama’s pitch for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.

Obama is making that pitch to a huge television audience in hopes of putting the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class. The annual speech, the most important in the US political calendar, comes two years to the day of his scheduled departure from the White House in 2017, and the American president does not have an easy road ahead of him. Six years ago, he was defined by the word “hope.” He had arrived on the scene as a political innocent, and many who voted for him inevitably projected onto the blank screen of his future a cluster of aspirations that had more to do with a generation’s longing than with likely trends going forward. He has already taken his message to the public, previewing his administration’s plans to boost American manufacturing and access to higher education. “In December, our businesses created 240,000 new jobs.

The Obama administration and House Speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell have pledged to work together to pass a congressional resolution giving the president the authority to prosecute the five-month-old bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Mr Obama will push a plan to increase taxes by $320 billion over 10 years on the wealthy by closing tax loopholes and imposing a fee on big financial firms. Tuesday will mark the first time since his election in 2008 that Obama will address a Congress whose two houses are entirely controlled by his Republican adversaries. Still, Obama’s slogan “Yes, we can” had come to seem both an acknowledgment of the difficult road ahead, and a savvy rebuttal to the “realists” who ruled out as impossible any actual progress toward peace, justice, or broad prosperity.

But they will probably face some strong headwinds from members of both parties who believe that previous resolutions — passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 — have been abused. But coming off a midterm election defeat that handed full control of Congress to Republicans, the president faces long odds in actually enacting his agenda and in essence is trying to frame the debate for his remaining time in power and for the emerging 2016 contest to succeed him. The President’s aim is to help those left behind by an economic revival taking hold six years into his tenure, which began with the Democrat facing a crippling financial crisis. “Now that we have fought our way through the crisis, how do we make sure that everybody in this country, how do we make sure that they are sharing in this growing economy?” Mr Obama said in a White House-produced YouTube video preview of his speech. US President Barack Obama speaks about increasing family leave for working Americans after having lunch at Charmington’s Cafe in Baltimore, Maryland, January 15, 2015 ©Saul Loeb (AFP/File) “I’m not going to spend the next two years on defense; I’m going to play offense,” a defiant Obama told Senate Democrats, according to comments reported by the website Politico. But six years on, in many important ways, Barack Obama has become a figure of American disappointment, with last week’s inexplicable failure to properly honor the trauma of France only a latest instance of mystifying solecism.

Obama’s political and personal enemies never saw him as a force for good, yet by now even many of his once-passionate admirers admit to a profound disenchantment. Obama has already announced some of his priorities for the months ahead: tax reform, easier path to homeownership, improved access to high-speed Internet and free community college. But he said on ABC’s “This Week” that the president has fallen short by failing to establish close ties to Congress. “Slapping American small businesses, savers and investors with more tax hikes only negates the benefits of the tax policies that have been successful in helping to expand the economy, promote savings and create jobs,” Sen. The speech will also allow Mr Obama to update Americans on the struggle against Islamic extremists, two weeks after 17 people were killed in Paris attacks. The two largest issues that confronted Obama when he first became president were war and race, realms in which his fabled hope was trumped by the inexorable cruelty of historic forces over which he had little control.

Obama’s senior adviser, said Monday. “We have proof that President Obama’s strategy is working, and the Republicans now have a Chicken Little problem — all the doom and gloom they predicted did not come to pass.” Republicans cast Mr. The present state of America’s far-from-finished Middle East wars, and the recent escalations of the cross-border conflict with suicidal terrorists make the point. Alan Gross, the US aid worker whose release from a Cuban prison helped pave the way toward restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba, will be among first lady Michelle Obama’s guests for the speech. Facing the tough negotiations that lie ahead, the president recently reminded Congress that he has a powerful political weapon at his disposal: he can veto the bills that arrive on his desk.

But he also said a bipartisan congressional vote backing the operation would “send a very clear signal to the American people, to our allies, and to our enemies that the United States is united behind the president’s strategy.” Yet the United States is now engaged in “types of conflicts that were not even conceived of” a decade ago, said Jennifer Daskal, a professor at the American University Washington College of Law who has written extensively about the role of Congress in waging war. In defying reality, they said, he simply wants to return to the tax-and-spending ways of the past. “I see this as the president returning to the theme of class warfare,” said Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois. “It may have been effective in 2012, but I don’t find it to be effective anymore. Lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the Senate — as well as Supreme Court judges and other officials — will gather Tuesday night at 9:00 pm (0200 GMT Wednesday) at the Capitol in Washington for the presidential address.

Most importantly, the once anti-war Obama was unable to successfully rewrite the deadly narrative created by Osama Bin Laden: that the way for his ilk to advance the jihadist cause is to provoke reliably belligerent US interventions in Islam’s brutal and multi-faceted civil war. With a Republican-controlled Congress, the president’s proposals to create manufacturing hubs, expand broadband access and offer free tuition will likely run into opposition, particularly if the programs require lawmakers to sign off on more spending. Obama has used the period since his party’s election defeat to reassert himself through a climate agreement with China, executive action to liberalize immigration rules and a diplomatic rapprochement with Cuba. The centerpiece of the president’s tax proposal is an increase in the capital gains rate on couples making more than $500,000 per year to 28 percent, the same level as under President Ronald Reagan.

His long-sagging approval ratings in polls have gone up, reaching 50 percent in a new Washington Post-ABC News survey, a nine-point jump since December, although other polls have not measured quite as big an increase. The original sin generating the Middle East fury into which the hapless United States has been drawn is primordial European contempt for the “infidel,” whether Muslim or Jew, which morphed over centuries into racist colonialism and anti-Semitism — for both of which a day of reckoning has arrived.

Several legal scholars and lawmakers have said that both previous resolutions should either be repealed or at minimum modified to reflect new realities. Obama also wants to close what the administration is calling the “trust fund loophole,” a change that would require estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they’re inherited. Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent, gasoline prices are down, stock markets are up and the economy grew by 5 percent in the third quarter of last year, its fastest rate in more than a decade. At minimum, Schiff and others believe the authorization needs an expiration date so that the overall authority for the so-called war on terrorism gets revisited.

But lately, he has been pushing the nation’s economic prospects more robustly and without as many caveats, saying it is time to move to a new stage. “Over the last six years, we have been weighed down by the legacy of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” Mr. Beyond any expectations of policy, legislation, or executive action, most Americans lionized their new president simply for being who he was, even as many others quietly reviled him for the same reason. Bernstein said of the president. “ ‘What you got?’ ” But Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office director who has advised Republican leaders, said Mr. Obama has no popular mandate for his latest initiatives. “We just had an election in which the president said his policies were on the ballot,” he said. “Hard to see what is different today than 60 days ago.” In laying out his agenda, Mr.

While they want to approve the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline, cut costly regulations and adjust the health care law to spare more businesses with part-time workers, Mr. Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the president’s tax plan was “a nonstarter” that would not help businesses grow. “More government, a $300-plus billion tax bill from Barack Obama, is not the formula for this country to succeed,” he said.

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