December 17, 2012  |  

National Groups: Boehner Tax Proposal Lacks Significant Revenue

For Immediate Release

December 17, 2012

Contact: TJ Helmstetter
Communications Director


National Groups: Boehner Tax Proposal Lacks Significant Revenue


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans for Tax Fairness, a campaign with more than 230 national, state, and local organizations united in support of a tax system that works for all Americans, released a series of statements today on the proposal put forward by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

“Speaker Boehner’s proposal to extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for households making up to $1 million a year would lose about half of the revenue that President Obama’s proposal would raise by extending the tax cuts only for households making up to $250,000. It does not come close to raising the revenue needed to reduce the deficit and rebuild the economy. No deal is better than a bad deal and the President should reject this counter offer out of hand,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness.


“Rather than try to move the goalposts, Speaker Boehner should accept the reality that shared sacrifice requires those who are doing well in our economy to pay higher taxes. Keeping tax cuts for households making up to $1 million is not a serious proposal when the Speaker and members of his caucus are seeking to make deep cuts in programs that help struggling families that include people of color, women, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities. President Obama should reject this offer out of hand,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

“House Republicans are holding tax cuts for middle class families hostage. Their latest offer on tax rates would lose nearly three-quarters of the revenue that could be gained by ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. The clock is ticking. If a deal is not reached by the end of this year, taxes on working families will go up $2,000. It is Speaker of the House Boehner’s responsibility to bring this issue to a vote. The country needs a balanced deficit-reduction package that includes revenue increases and protects entitlements but does not destroy investments in education, healthcare and other areas that help our economy grow and keep our nation strong,” said Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers. 

“AFSCME opposes Speaker Boehner’s latest proposal to shelter wealthy households from paying their fair share, while insisting on spending cuts for middle- and lower-income families. We strongly support the President’s position that continues the tax breaks for 98% of Americans. Maintaining the $250,000 cutoff raises needed revenues and forces wealthy individuals to share in the burden of deficit reduction rather than unfairly shifting the impact to working families,” said Chuck Loveless, federal government affairs director, AFSCME. 

“While we welcome the Speaker’s newfound willingness to discuss tax rates, his latest offer is not a substantial concession on revenue. The Speaker’s proposal on tax rates would raise barely one-quarter of the revenue that would be raised by letting the tax cuts expire on the wealthy as President Obama has proposed. That’s because the Speaker would raise the threshold for rate increases from $250,000 to $1 million while seemingly also continuing the Bush tax cuts on investments and estates and failing to restore limits on tax breaks for high-income households. In fact, the reported Boehner offer does more to continue tax cuts for millionaires than it does to raise the revenue needed for a balanced deal,” said Seth Hanlon, director of fiscal reform, Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“Speaker Boehner’s latest budget proposal is another attempt to make American families pick up the tab for the wealthy and Wall Street corporations.  America cannot continue to tap Grandma’s retirement income, housing assistance programs, or critical medical care for disabled children instead of the requiring the richest 2% pay their fair share.  We’re counting on the President to ensure families making $250,000 and above and Wall Street corporations pay their fair share,”said George Goehl, executive director, National People’s Action.

“We believe that working families would be best served by extending the Bush tax cuts only to those households making up to $250,000 a year.  The $1 million threshold proposed by Speaker Boehner is not sufficient to generate the revenues required to heal our economy, and would provide less than half the revenues anticipated under the President’s proposal.  We urge President Obama to reject the Speaker’s inadequate proposal so we can achieve a greater level of tax fairness on which to build a sounder economic future for all of us,” said Karen Nussbaum, executive director, Working America.

“The American Sustainable Business Council calls upon President Obama and Members of Congress to oppose any proposal including Speaker Boehner’s to raise the proposed threshold for expiration of the top-tier income tax cuts from $250,000 to $1 million. Establishing a $1 million threshold would reduce the amount of revenue raised by more than half. If Speaker Boehner’s proposal is adopted, we can expect to see increased spending cuts for infrastructure investment that our businesses so desperately need. Additionally our middle class customers that are the lifeblood of Main Street businesses will be hard hit. When a teacher is laid off, or a librarian has their hours cut, small businesses lose a customer,” said David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. 

“The proposal by Speaker Boehner to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for households making up to $1 million a year does not do enough to reduce the deficit and address the economic challenges we are facing in this country.  His tax-rate proposal would lose nearly three-quarters of the revenue we could raise by ending cuts for those households with incomes over $250,000.  President Obama’s position that the tax cuts for 98% of Americans—the working families of this country—should continue is right, and we must ask the top 2% of Americans to pay their fair share,” said LeeAnn Hall, executive director, Alliance for a Just Society.