Something to Watch – Today’s Obama Interviews May Provide a Breakthrough on Tax Extenders

President Obama’s  TV interviews scheduled for today may provide fuel for a potential breakthrough in tax and spending talks, according to Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition.  WOTC and numerous other tax provisions hang in the balance . . . although failure now may still be rectified after the new year.
“The President’s interview at 5 PM today could break the deadlock if he mentions specific entitlement cuts of around $500 billion. If that doesn’t work nothing will. . . .”
The following correspondence from Paul Suplizio is published here with permission.
From: Paul Suplizio
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:58 AM
Subject: Obama Interview At 5:00 PM EDT Today May Attempt Breakthrough
December 13, 2012
The $200 billion “stimulus package” in the President’s offer was repeated two days ago without an affirmative reply by Republicans—this is the package that carries WOTC and other tax extenders.
Speaker Boehner has attacked the stimulus package because it adds to the deficit; he leans against making it part of a fiscal cliff deal unless he can get bigger spending cuts. Our lobbying aims to persuade him to accept WOTC and other extenders, which now include bonus depreciation and energy extenders that expire at the end of the month.
In his latest offer, the President reduced his tax revenue target from $1.6 to $1.4 trillion, and the Speaker countered with his original offer of $800 billion. Nevertheless, the White House is confident Republicans will eventually accept higher tax rates on the wealthy—the main issues they see now are entitlements, the stimulus package, and raising the debt ceiling.
A major factor is whether the Speaker can get a majority of Republicans to vote for whatever deal he makes with the President. The White House doesn’t want to offer major entitlement cuts that will make Democrats unhappy, only to see the deal rejected by the Republican caucus in the House.
The President’s interview at 5 PM today could break the deadlock if he mentions specific entitlement cuts of around $500 billion. If that doesn’t work nothing will, because in the deal that’s on the table now, Republicans will come away with better tax rates on upper incomes, capital gains, dividends, and estates than if there’s no deal and Bush tax cuts expire.
In sum, if there’s a fiscal cliff deal, there’s a solid chance WOTC and the extenders will be included.
If there’s no deal, Republicans are talking about returning after Christmas and passing the Senate bill that extends the Bush tax cuts for incomes up to $250,000. This would not be helpful on many fronts—it would leave WOTC, other extenders, payroll tax relief, unemployment compensation, bonus depreciation, Medicare doctors’ compensation, estate tax, and many other issues in limbo—not dead, but in limbo, to be taken up again in the new Congress that begins January 3rd.
There’s a chance that can be avoided, however. If Republicans in the House are ready during the final week to pass the Senate extension of Bush, it’s entirely within the province of the House leadership to craft an amendment to the Senate bill dealing with any or all of these high-priority issues that would otherwise be left unattended.
It would require a degree of legislative initiative that hasn’t been a hallmark of this House. The Leaders’ problems in winning consensus among Republicans still makes for paralysis in decision and no action rather than action. This is why we must continue hammering away at our House Republican congressmen, urging them to spur their Leaders to action on WOTC and your other issues. If we want action on the Hill, we ourselves need to act, everything starts with us!
Many thanks to so many of you who are dedicating time and effort to the campaign. It has been a pleasure cooperating with you.
President, WOTC Coalition

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