Signaling confidence that Democrats will stop blustering and cave on tax cuts, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted today that all of the Bush era tax rates will be extended temporarily.
“I think it’s pretty clear now taxes are not going up on anybody in the middle of this recession,” McConnell said on Meet the Press. “It isn’t going to happen.”
McConnell acknowledged that, despite broad Democratic opposition on Capitol Hill, the White House and GOP are currently negotiating a compromise based on a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts, which would likely punt this debate into presidential election season.“We’re discussing how long we can maintain current tax rates,” McConnell said. “We’re going to have some kind of an extension. I’d like one as long as possible.”
President Obama himself all but signaled that the Democrats lost this fight during a statement about a recently-announced Korea free trade agreement yesterday. “We need to redouble our efforts to resolve this impasse — in the next few days — to give the American people the peace of mind that their taxes will not go up on January 1st,” Obama said. “It will require some compromise, but I’m confident that we can get it done.”
The White House is pressing the GOP to allow an extension of unemployment benefits and the tax breaks in the stimulus bill in exchange for an extension of income tax rates. According to the Huffington Post, Obama will allow the cuts to expire if the GOP refuses. On that score, McConnell claimed there’s no impasse.
“I think we will extend unemployment benefits,” he said.
McConnell laughably claimed that the failure of the Bush-era tax rates to create a vibrant economy over the past 10 years shouldn’t be held against it.
“Imagine how much worse it would have been if we’d had a higher tax rate,” he said.