By Jennifer Burke
As fiscal cliff talks continue between Speaker John Boehner and President Obama, conservatives are outraged over the concessions that Boehner has been willing to give. During the early stages of debt negotiations, the Speaker took a firm stand against the raising of taxes for any American, regardless of their income level. His stand was based on the impact that singling out high income earners for a tax increase would have on job creation.
The president, however, has stood firm on his promise to raise taxes on high income earners while letting the current tax rates remain unchanged for only certain income levels. The threshold the president set during his campaign for re-election was $250,000 as he singled out the top 1%. Following the election, that target number for tax hikes was changed to $200,000, encompassing the top 2% of income earners.
As it became clear that Obama was unwavering in his stance to raise taxes, Boehner began to cave and abandon the promises that he made to the people. His offer to raise taxes to generate $1 trillion in new taxes, despite the fact that he personally signed the No-Tax Pledge through Americans for Tax Reform, was rejected by the White House. The offer did not include an extension of unemployment benefits or an unlimited ability to raise the debt ceiling, two other components that Obama demanded.
Boehner’s counter offer after Obama’s refusal included raising the debt ceiling for one year, though Obama was demanding two. This offer was yet again rejected by the White House and further angered conservatives who were growing increasingly frustrated at Boehner not standing firm on principle and instead caving to Obama’s demands. Obama was also demanding a raise in taxes for any income above $400,000.
Now, Boehner has capitulated even further in his surrender with his “Plan B”. In this plan, the current tax rates would expire, thereby increasing taxes, for income over $1 million. Boehner’s intention appears to be to counter Obama’s line in the sand of $400,000 for tax increase. The White House has threatened to veto Boehner’s plan if it passes in the House.
TheTeaParty.net, the nation’s largest Tea Party advocacy group, held a press conference in D.C. on December 12th during which they presented over 160,000 individually signed petitions demanding No New Taxes. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) was among the five GOP members in Congress to stand with the organization against the raising of taxes. Gohmert expounded on remarks given at the presser during an interview with Sean Hannity yesterday:
“When Jay Carney says [Obama] has moved halfway on this thing, what you got to go back and see is the president demanded $800 billion in tax increases. John Boehner starts out and says ‘okay we’ll do that.’ And, what does [the White House] do? They move to $1.6 trillion in tax increases. It’s pretty clear the president doesn’t want a deal.”
TheTeaParty.net has pledged to oppose Boehner on his ‘Plan B’ which will increase taxes for some Americans and directly go against his Tax Payer Protection Pledge. They have also pledged to primary any Republican who supports the higher tax ‘Plan B’. Bob Adams, the group’s Capitol Hill Liaison, states “Not one dime in new taxes, not one nickel in new spending, and for the love of God and the future of our country, not one red cent in new debt. Enough is enough. What’s at stake here is nothing less than the future of the Republican party as a viable conservative political force.”
Niger Innis, National Spokesperson for TheTeaParty.net, added:
“If press reports about Speaker Boehner’s proposed tax hikes are accurate and there is no immediate commitment from the White House on drastic cuts in entitlements, it’s time for him to hand in the gavel. We have received hundreds of thousands of signed petitions from our members across the country and they do not want a tax hike on January 1. Many of our members are small business owners, and this so-called Plan B will cost Americans their jobs. Conservatives must rally behind a new Speaker if John Boehner continues to refuse to speak for us, and all Americans who are sick of more taxes, more spending, more debt, more government.”
TheTeaParty.net remains adamant in their stand against higher taxation for Americans at any income level. They vow to hold the Speaker accountable if he follows through on “Plan B” which would include increased taxes as part of their debt negotiations.