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Boehner's Budget Gimmicks: Another Attempt to Hold Middle Class Tax Cuts Hostage

Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki looks at how Republicans are trying to mask the cost of their tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans as they threaten to block middle class tax cuts to get their way.

It is disturbing but unfortunately not surprising that an entire political party would rally together to hold tax relief for middle class families hostage as leverage to push through tax cuts for the very richest Americans -- people who don’t need them and haven’t even asked for them. But that is apparently exactly what Republican Minority Leader John Boehner is trying to do.

Even as the Republican Party has tried to shed its dismal record on fiscal discipline, they have been consistent and unwavering in their attempts to borrow more than $700 billion to support permanent tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. But giving an average $100,000 tax break to those making over $1,000,000 a year when we can’t afford them and they don’t need them is not sound economic policy.

The latest trick from Republican Minority Leader John Boehner says a lot about Republican priorities and strategy – and seems like an obvious recognition of just how irresponsible their position is. 

In an interview this morning he issued a half-hearted call for a two year extension of these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This is nothing more than a throwback to Bush-era budget gimmicks that helped get us into the fiscal mess we're in today, an attempt to mask the true budget-busting cost of the Republican agenda. If there was any doubt about that, it was eliminated when immediately after the interview he issued a press release making clear the Party’s continuing desire to borrow more than $700 billion to make these tax cuts permanent (“House Republicans will continue to fight to permanently stop job-killing tax hikes.”)

It is also ironic that Mr. Boehner would suggest a two year extension of all tax cuts while preaching about uncertainty for businesses.  President Obama believes that the working families who have been hardest hit over the last decade deserve the certainty of knowing that their taxes are not at risk of being raised only one or two years from now.  That is why the President is proposing to make all middle class tax cuts permanent, and why he is calling on Republicans to stop holding this relief hostage and pass a permanent extension of middle class tax cuts without delay.

Make no mistake, we simply cannot afford to follow Mr. Boehner and the Republican’s strategy of adding to our deficit for the sake of high-income tax cuts that the Congressional Budget Office determined were the least effective of all the measures it analyzed for creating jobs and supporting economic growth. And to hold middle class tax relief hostage to such an irresponsible proposal is beyond the pale.

Jen Psaki is Deputy Communications Director