Fiscal cliff deal includes $76 billion in corporate tax breaks
While Barack Obama was running for reelection he stated over and over again that it was time for the wealthy to pay their fair share. He claimed that he would fight to keep taxes from going up on the middle class while promising he would make the millionaires and billionaires contribute more. He claimed that he would not let the Republicans hold the middle class hostage in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
On January 2nd the Congress finally passed fiscal cliff legislation and despite claims made by the Congress and the president this bill does not stop taxes from going up on 98% of Americans–in fact, taxes are actually going up on 77% of Americans. (Yes, that does include the middle class.)
Promise number one broken, but how about raising taxes on the rich? Well, for the most part if you are rich your taxes are going up as well…..as long as you are not a movie producer, rum manufacturer, or a green energy company, because in that case there is a good chance you will be getting part of the $76 billion in corporate tax credits which were slipped into the legislation.
Barack Obama’s defenders will probably say that he must have fought against this aspect of the bill but had to give in as part of the give and take of the negotiating process, but they would be wrong. In fact it was Barack Obama himself who insisted this language be included in the bill.
A Republican Senate aide familiar with the cliff negotiations tells me the White House wanted permanent extensions of a whole slew of corporate tax credits. When Senate Republicans said no, “the White House insisted that the exact language” of the Baucus bill be included in the fiscal cliff deal. “They were absolutely insistent,” another aide tells me.
So it was the man who once called himself a warrior for the middle class who signed legislation which raises taxes on most Americans while he insisted that tax breaks continue for certain corporations.
None of this is surprising but I wonder how many people who voted for Barack Obama thinking that he would be different because they bought into his class warfare rhetoric are feeling just a little bit duped.