Obama rebuttal to GOP offer worries Colorado senators
Republicans in the U.S. House on Monday offered up a budget proposal they said would save $2.2 trillion over 10 years without raising taxes on the nation’s highest earners. Reports circulated in the meantime that President Barack Obama would be willing to see the nation go over the “fiscal cliff” if he couldn’t reach agreement with Republicans.
That prompted Colorado’s senators, both Democrats, to warn against the danger of the fiscal cliff — a set of tax increases on all wage-earners and spending cuts that would go into effect automatically at the beginning of 2013 if no agreement is reached.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., meanwhile said Monday that the solution to the nation’s budget problems lies largely in getting Americans back to work — and paying taxes.
The leadership of the House offered a package of spending cuts and tax-code changes they said would pump $800 billion in new revenues to the federal treasury.
Two publications — Mother Jones and The Washington Post — said they had confirmed Obama’s willingness to begin the new year without an agreement that would avert the fiscal cliff. The Associated Press also confirmed the administration’s intentions.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a close ally of Obama, “absolutely does not want to go over the fiscal cliff,” his Washington, D.C., office said in an email, noting that “This is once again just another example of the dysfunction that is Washington — a place that he often refers to as the land of flickering lights, because Congress can only seem to keep the lights on for weeks at a time.”
A spokesman for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., pointed to Udall’s multiple warnings that the nation should not go over the fiscal cliff and noted he is a longtime supporter of the recommendations drafted by former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican, and Erskine Bowles, a former Clinton administration official.
Bennet also is a longtime supporter of the recommendations of the commission headed by Simpson and Bowles.
House Republicans on Monday offered a proposal patterned after a proposal drafted by Bowles after the commission’s recommendations received no support from Congress or Obama.
The Republican offer includes $800 billion in new revenue from tax reform, or eliminating loopholes, for businesses.
“The ball is in the president’s court,” Tipton said on Monday, “We put out the ideas and we hope he will come to the table.”
The GOP proposal includes increases in revenues, but rejects increases in tax rates, Tipton said.
Closing loopholes would mean that corporations such as GE begin paying taxes that they now avoid completely, even if that means corporate income tax rates overall go down, Tipton said.
Doing that could give certainty to businesses to make business decisions and put more people back to work and paying federal taxes, he said.