WASHINGTON (AP) — Leading congressional Republicans renewed their vehement opposition to tax increases Wednesday, as President Barack Obama prepared to put forth his new prescription to combat slow growth and national indebtedness.

“Most people understand that Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. “We can’t raise taxes. … That was settled last November during the elections.”

Joining Cantor in appearing on morning network news programs, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, also ruled out tax increases, saying the country needs tax “reform,” not tax hikes.

The GOP figures made the rounds of news shows ahead of Obama’s speech Wednesday afternoon outlining his latest ideas for combating mounting federal deficits and for coping with slow economic growth and lingering high unemployment.

Intense bargaining over the last two weeks that allowed Obama and House Republicans to avert a partial government shutdown over budget differences merely primed the pump for an even more intense, and more protracted, national budget debate in the coming weeks. It’s a discussion that will be complicated by the need soon to raise the government’s debt limit to avoid default.

Cantor said, “We cannot fix our fiscal crisis and bring down the debt just with cuts alone. Washington has been on a spending spree of late.” But both he and Ryan said they were pleased that Obama has engaged the debate.

“The president hasn’t even engaged in negotiations,” Ryan said, “so I’m glad he’s starting this conversation. … We don’t have a problem because Americans don’t pay enough taxes.”

Tea party-backed Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said she, too, believes tax increases should be ruled out.

“I don’t think it should be on the table because tax rates are high enough already,” she said.

Cantor appeared on CBS’s “The Early Show.” Ryan was interviewed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Bachmann commented on NBC’s “Today” program.

(Β© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (69)
  1. Citizen says:

    Yes, America has plenty of taxes and tax rates for everyone. The problem is, and continues to be, that the wealthy and corporations do not want to pay their fair share of taxes to support the country that made them wealthy and successful. And the less they pay (if anything), the more taxes the rest of us pay. Plus, the weaker the federal government is, the less able it is to find tax cheats and prosecute them. The problem is mainly that the taxes need to be paid by EVERYONE….not just the poor and middle class. Everyone needs to pay to live in the greatest, wealthiest nation on earth and not offshore their financial accounts and move their companies to Asia.

    1. th says:

      I agree whole heartedly the rich and companies have too many loop holes so they don’t pay their fair share.

    2. Matt says:

      46% of Americans don’t pay a DIME of federal taxes in the United States and the top 5% of tax payers pay 95% of all the taxes…

      Don’t get me wrong I think we should close the tax loopholes and establish a flat tax that is an equal percent of income fore everyone but don’t tell me that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share at the federal level.

      This is a class warfare ploy by the left, many against a few and it’s a cowardly approach to real reform in this country and kudos to the GOP standing up against it.

      Before everyone jumps on me saying it’s nice to be rich, I’m not, but I know that the more money you give government the bigger it’s going to get.

      Both government revenue and spending have continued to increase year over year. It’s not the amount of money we bring in, it’s the spending stupid…

      1. JG spin doctor states nope says:

        You just proved it’s class warfare alright – by the right. You were doing okay until you said 2 things.
        5% don’t pay 95%.
        46% who don’t pay a dime are by any means at the bottom. Ask me how I know that.lol No – I don’t share either.

        There is no way a flat tax is fair – to many that scrape by barely now as impoverished pseudo slaves to those who are at the top cannot pay 15%.
        Toss in maybe 3 tiers, no offsets and you have a winner. maybe.
        No way that the welthy will buy into this flat tax or it would have happened 100% years ago. Dead in the water. To bad ………….

        Rant all you want using your bullchit numbers and then accept the fact you are creating a war, maybe more so than any Libber at the bottom could. Likely many there cannot even comment here as they don’t own a computer nor have an ISP if they did.
        just the facts there Matt. You don’t need to like them

    3. cal says:

      the poor pay ZERO and they get taxpayer money …
      Middle Class only pay 6% … Get your Facts RIGHT.

      1. Jenni says:

        IN FACT … The poor get money from the government at tax time that they never even paid in. The poor in this country are wealthy compared to third world countries. Let’s gain some perspective here before we demonize the wealthy. If someone wants to live off welfare for their lifetime because they choose certain behaviors to keep them down, then let them live poor and we need to stop the handouts. The wealthy pay plenty in taxes and the US makes them pay so much that they feel the need to outsource to other countries to keep their taxes down. Let’s stop this idiotic thinking that we have to have a cut of someone else’s money because they have more. The entitlement in this country is out of control.

        1. Citizen says:

          Jenni, you are the worst kind of elitist. I hope your IQ is about 120 because a lot of people just aren’t smart enough to be a rocket scientist, or a doctor, or a lawyer like you must be and make those big bucks. Some people do have to work for low wages. A lot of the working poor have no paid sick leave to care for their children, they don’t make enough money to pay minimal rent so they qualify for rent assistance, they qualify for food stamps. Why don’t YOU try living on McDonald’s and WalMart wages. Those are the the facts. Most of the really hard core unemployed in this country are not employable. Period. I guess you and your kind want to throw them out into the street. That’s what third world countries do. You have no idea what it is to live “poor.”

    4. marion says:

      The top 1% pay 40% of the taxes. What do you want?

  2. Patriot says:

    The right-winters have declared “war” on the poor, middle class, elderly, and children. Paul Ryan’s cuts are targeted toward them. He feels the rich have the inherent right to rule! Ayn Rand is his god….

    1. Matt says:

      Really, did you ever think that it’s the poor and the elderly that use a VAST majority of the federal services being provide? That the annual budget for the department of Health and Human services is $78 BILLION dollars. That budget alone would make the HHS the 60th biggest country in the world.

      Government is out of control and there have to be cuts, that’s going to have to effect the poor that use those services.

      What would you do, oh yeah go to war against the rich that already pay almost all of the taxes in this country.

      1. Patriot says:

        Matt, WalMart also uses a lot of government money because it doesn’t pay its workers a living wage so they qualify for all those government services such as Medicaid, food stamps, rent assistance–all those things you hate. Do you hate WalMart? Do you hate corporate welfare? Is your solution to turn the elderly into the streets, or stop feeding the children of poor families, or just stop feeding and sheltering people? Did the Lord not tell us to care for each other? Guess you opted out of that one. And most of the rich pay NO TAXES, that’s just for the poor and middle class. Go read some tax statistics from the IRS.

  3. John Galt says:

    Ayn Rand IS God.

    1. JG spin doctor says:

      And John Galt is a Moron.

      1. helper says:

        So true. Ignorance is bliss for that type of person…

      2. Howard Roark says:

        You might think that John Galt is a moron, yet he did have a great rail.

        1. johnjohn says:

          John Galt did not have a rail. He had a rail named after him that was built with Rearden Metal – until the politicians took it away and destroyed it in the name of keeping things even for all.

  4. Feeling mighty pizzed off at many says:

    Need cuts and reform AND a TAX REFORM put in place.
    Yes Bachmann and the rest of you way to the right and to the left —- everyone on this dirt here in the USA will have to pay more.
    Guess what – you will live too !
    Imagine that – you will live.
    Maybe instead of a 747 the corp’s will need a smaller Lear Jet but hey – when they only have 10 on board that works.
    Maybe the taxpayers won’t be paying for your BMW, Benz, Lexus, Range Rover, Tahoo, Suburban, F-350 and F-250’s anymore. No – you are not doing anything in violation of the tax laws in having us pay for them. Then again – THAT is THE ISSUE.
    I won’t even get into the tax breaks and credits and free rides that Corporate America gets … take 100 years to cover here.

    Reform. The wealthy need to pay their share and not bleed the middle class to death any more. That includes those skating free at the bottom too. You also need to get some skin in this game of survival

  5. Eva says:

    Taxes do need to go back to what they were under Clinton. If everybody remembers we had a surplus….which Bush squandered by giving it to his cronies. So sure let us bring back the Clinton tax rates. I will pay my share. How about all of you over 250K a year earners will you pay yours…that will fix half of our deficit….no reason to take away medicare, social security and medicaid…Lets just reset the gamestage to where it was in 2000.

  6. Katrina says:

    Military Spending needs to be put on the table.

    1. yesssirrrreeeee Katrina says:

      funny thing is it’s only 19% of total budget. Big ?? – sure. Necessary ? – no doubt.
      Leave that part alone – hell, I actually wonder if it’s enough?

  7. Tracy Waki says:

    Of course Bachmann thinks taxes are high enough she is bought and paid for by ultra rich who think they should not pay taxes. I wish people of the sixth district would wake up and elect someone who does their job instead of only doing TV and radio.

  8. Isnt It Ironic says:

    Sad to say that I somewhat agree with the CUT TAXES NOW pledge of Rep. Cantor of Virginia and Rep Ryan of Wisconsin.

    As a first step, they should both decline their federal salary, health care benefits, and pension (remember they are not on the social security system).

    Second step, they can return the corporate welfare (port barrel spending) the federal government has sent to both their states. Virginia receives thousands in tobacco subsidies, and Wisconsin is rich with farm subsides.

    Once these two pigs get off the tit, then maybe the rest of house and senate can get in line.

    1. helper says:

      We need the wealthy to pay their share of taxes.

      By the way idiot, there is no such thing as “port barrel spending”
      Properly called, it’s Pork Barrel Spending.

      I think you should get off your F _ T A _ _ and get a job, loser…

  9. Lacking a brain some are says:

    Much smaller world and population then and did you say infrastructure there Citizen. LMAO
    You comparing apples to pebbles there – so many stupid decisions and opinions on raising taxes abound and frankly that’s why Bachmann has no prayer at the WH.
    If she used common sense — wait, like a massive new bridge that we pay for but WI benefits equally from….hello Michelle, anyone home inside that skull? — I think we all realize the game plan is to wipe out the middle class, say up to that $150-200K threshhold. Fits Bachmann to a T lol –
    The DFL spends – the GOP hides the spend – the Tea Party has no clue as to what it takes to run a country. So cut the budget and raise the taxes and get this done. GET IT DONE you babbling idiots

    1. Matt says:

      It’s funny how out of touch you are because when the USA was really rolling over everyone in the last 1800’s and early 1900’s our federal budget as a percent of GDP was around 8% not it’s over 40%…

      So you say the Tea Party doesn’t know how to run a government, I say that the government doesn’t know how to run a government.

  10. JOhn W says:

    Gas is going up like crazy . Food prices are going up..My property value went down
    but my property taxes went up over 20 % . Tax the rich is class warefare baloney.
    The rich will always find tax loopholes especially the rich liberal democrats
    who always want to raise taxes more. Its the small hard working bussiness owners that create most of the jobs and wealth in this country and bear the brunt of the tax

    1. th says:

      Those liberal democrats are the only ones who are standing up for the middle class. What world do you live in?

      1. TF says:

        WHAT? The left is not standing up for the middle class they are throwing them under the bus for the special interests that support them.

        Look at the outrageous spending that is going to have to be covered by our children, look at the horrible healthcare law that is raising everyone’s premiums, look at Obama giving $2 billion to Brazil to drill for oil and sell to China at the benefit of George Sorous.


        WAKE UP, the left isn’t helping the middle class they are helping themselves.

    2. Worker bee says:

      Excuse me! The rich and businesses do not create wealth. The workers do with their labor. And the ultra-rich are just parasites on society.

      1. dan says:

        Worker Bee – You are paid based on the value of your service. Providing basic labor is on the bottom of the totem pole. Increase your value to the workforce and you will see an increase in wages. Or better yet, start a small business and see how easy it is to be “ultra-rich and a parasite on society”

        1. Worker bee says:

          Dan, you don’t know me, and I have been there and done it all, from private to government, to a small business. So, I can speak from personal experience. Just because I sign myself “Worker Bee” doesn’t mean that is what I do or who I am.

  11. Citizen says:

    “Citizen” you need to quit posting using my moniker. If you are trying to discredit me, it will not work! I am reporting your comment.

    1. dan says:

      Yoiu already have done a fair job of that already. Your comments speak volumns

  12. Just a serf says:

    Republicans protect and defend the uber-wealthy.

    Why more than 5% of the American people vote for these protectors of the nobility is beyond me.

    1. cal says:

      because they are FILLED with common sense and intel to boot.

  13. Clint Make My Day chuckles says:

    My first thought is lack of intelligence mostly. Easy to get the ignorant all stirred up. Most will kill for $500 tax saving but they forget the local then likley goes up $400. LOL
    The GOP voting base can be found in many red neck bars and such – bitch and moan and whine about loss of their right to smoke, DWI laws to strict, they cannot carry an AK into the grocery store, they are losing all their “rights’ …. while the Puppet Masters at the top are playing the strings of Bachmann, Walker, et al and laughing so hard at the fools they are teary eyed.

    Wait now – the DFL is not a lot better. They toss a bone at the truly needy and say I am YOUR Puppet Master too. I’d still rather deal with them than the Elite Puppet Masters I guess. We get a teeny tiny taste of something vs nothing and roads so full of holes they eat us up. We do get Bachmann’s Bridge to nowhere though πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ lol

  14. Matt says:

    Additionally, I forgot to mention, but the percent of federal taxes paid by those in the top 10% of income earners has increased from 49% to 61% so they are paying MORE now than they ever have in the past with a LOWER tax rate…

    Raising taxes doesn’t mean more money.

    1. Reasonable says:

      So your conclusion is that the bottom 90% aren’t apying their fair share?

      Try this one on instead:
      That bottom 90% aren’t making enough money to pay more in taxes. Trust me, I’d love to have a high enough income to pay more in taxes!

      1. Matt says:

        No, I’m simply stating that raising taxes will not fix the problem. We need to CUT the spending down.

        Also, I do think that everyone should pay a small amount, maybe 5% across the board.

        1. Darryl says:

          Removing anyone from the tax system entirely is a bad idea. Poor people need to pay some tax.

        2. Citizen says:

          No, no, no, Matt. The solution is to broaden the tax base (make more people and corporations pay), and then plug the tax loopholes for the rich and corporations. Hard line tax law enforcement for cheaters. No more offshoring of finances, no more tax breaks for corporations to move jobs overseas. By the way, which rich Republican/Tea Partier are you campaigning for?

          1. dan says:

            Citizen, In otherwords do not cut spending. Wow!
            You belly ache how corporations like GE do not pay taxes. The problem is that they are too busy paying off the govt by donating 2.2 million to the Obama Democrats and having the CEO, Jeffery Immelt head up the Council on Jobs and Competition.
            Its right there for you to see but you would rather jump on the banwagon of taxing the already highly taxed even more. Face it the rich create jobs in the US. I dont see anyone making $40,000 year going out and hire 40 new employees and creating jobs

          2. Matt says:

            I would be all for a flat tax rate across the board no exceptions. Personally I think taxing a business is stupid as a business will just pass those taxes on to the consumer or move profits offshore.

            Additionally, what I have said and continue to say is it’s not taxes that are the problem (although they are greatly hindering the economy) it’s the SPENDING. I want to see less government.

            Since you asked, I would prefer Ron Paul, there aren’t a lot of great options.

      2. tuna-free dolphin says:

        So your conclusion is that you currently pay zero in federal taxes and “the rich” are actually carrying your share of the load, but it’s still not fair? If you aren’t paying anything, what is your moral argument that someone else should pay more?

        1. Reasonable says:

          Aimed towards me?
          The progressive tax structure means we all pay the same amount to a certain point. My income may be 4x that of yours, but we pay the same taxes until my income becomes greater than yours. Now let’s say we have a flat 10% income tax. If you make $10k per year, you pay $1k in taxes. If you make $4mil per year, then you pay $400,000k. So you need 400 people to pay the same tax burden of one person. Given the amount of income disparity we currently have, the top 1% will end up paying nearly 80% of all taxes, more than the “unjust” 40-50% that they currently pay. But hey, the guy that has $9k left is at least contributing the same % as the guy that has $3.6 MILLION leftover. I sure hope he can afford to lose his job and go into bankruptcy if he accidently breaks a leg playing Bocce Ball at the country club.

          1. Matt says:

            Don’t you think that the guy who makes $4M probably did a little more to get it? Why because someone has something should the burden be placed against them and them alone?

            A flat tax rate means that whenever there is more government EVERYONE is equally paying for it. Today 47% percent of individuals don’t pay a dime in federal taxes why would they ask for anything less than a lot more free governemnt.

    2. Feeling Sorry for Rich Folks says:


      Stop being an apologist for the privileged.

      In the 1950’s the highest paid person in a corporation was pad approx. 17 times what the lowest person in the organization made.

      Today it is over 300 times.

      1. Reasonable says:

        To be fair though, actual pay isn’t 300x, it’s just that they get paid in stock options and other bonusses that create a gap of 300x in pay. If the lowest paid person in the organization made enough to be a strong investor in the company, it is likely that the gap would decrease. Unfortunately they aren’t so the income disparity is present.

        1. Cough it up Rich Boy! says:

          Pay is pay, regardless of its source.

  15. tuna-free dolphin says:

    Well of course no one is buying that the ecnomy is actually recovering in spite of what people on the left have been saying. But just imagine for a minute that it is. There is no better way to squash any last glimmer of hope than the wet blanket of a tax increase on the already smoldering fire of economic growth. If we are ever to get back to Bush’s 4.5% unemployment rate, another tax hike is not the way to do it.

  16. Matt says:

    The top 5% of tax payers pay more than bottom 95%.

    1. cal says:

      Don’t worry, when the Pied Piper comes all the fools will follow

  17. Matt says:

    Additionally, the top income earners are paying more as a percent of their income than bottom income earners.
    Top 1-5% – 17.21%
    5-10% – 12.44%
    10-25% – 9.29%
    25%-50% – 6.75%
    <50% – 2.59%

  18. Matt H. says:

    Ha ha ha, wealthy people don’t pay taxes because they have very little “income”. The top tax payers are not the truly wealthy in this country and that is the true disconnect. We need to reform tax code since wealth earnings basically get off scot free. It’s much more complicated than setting a marginal income tax rate.

  19. obmumies says:

    Just root out all democrats + mark dayton + union who support tax increase

  20. Pavel says:

    Why are some people so stupid? I say put the taxes back to what they were before Bush. These right wingers place all the blame on Obama, but it all happened under Bush when he cut taxes for the rich. What were these people thinking of???? I believe some people may be waking up to the problem.

    1. Matt says:

      Actually we collect more money now as a percent of GDP than we did before the Bush tax cuts, because people are rewarded for producing more.

      But don’t let facts get in your way…

  21. Darryl says:

    We have created an entitlement mentality in poor people. By removing them from the burden of paying any federal taxes whatsoever, we have created bums. There is nothing easier than going to the voting booth and voting to raise someone else’s taxes. I realize that it may cost $25 to process a tax return that owes $20, but it makes this person part of society again. 45 % of adults in this country pay nothing in federal taxes. And these people feel they have a right to complain? Complain about what?

  22. Lisa Gonyea says:

    If all the “wealthy” paid 100%..it still would not cut the national debt. We are spending 6 billion a day…and I know of no poor or middle class wage earners creating jobs. Let’s get with reality.

  23. Lacking a brain some are says:

    Okay …. todays yahoo and cnn have the latest reports that show 1 in 6 Americans now are on some form of Gov’t assistance program.
    I am not surprised — nor would I be to hear it’s twice this number. Things are mighty tough out there for many many many Americans.

    So let’s indeed lower the taxes ….. as we sure as hell have no needs within the government to provide/assist/help out those in need. Let’s toss back another trillion in tax breaks at folks. 90% or better goes to those who have no need for them.
    Oh _ I know/ They’ll create jobs and they’ll hire. If that is not the biggest bunch of pure HOG Crap ever stated I don’t know what is. It’s never happened yet and won’t. Hoarding at the top – and class wipeout and veritable slaves now at the levels below.
    ain’t it grand

  24. Pavel says:

    Matt – you need to stick to facts and make sure they are accurate. You, obviously, get your facts from the same place Bachman gets hers……in the air. You need to balance your ideas of cutting with raising the taxes on the rich…..the very rich and wealthy corporations. It is scandalous that GE never paid one cent in taxes last year! What has become of corporate responsibility?

    I heard Boehner say, “We are not going to raise taxes on people who are investing in our financial system”. I recall the effort to get ordinary laborers and earners to invest in the stock market. Do we only have to worry about the rich investing in the market?

    1. Matt says:


      I got my facts from the tax foundation, where did you get yours?


  25. Kevin says:

    I have to laugh.

    Does anyone here understand that although the corporation may be writing the check for taxes, it is ultimately PEOPLE that pay those taxes by receiving less return on their investment in the corporation. Or to put it another way, ultimately, only PEOPLE pay taxes.

    For those who want to raise taxes on higher earning individuals, in other words to take from the rich to provide for the poor, that social experiement failed when communism and socialism came crashing down in the Soviet Union and other places in Eastern Europe.

    I agree with the article. The problem is not taxation. Its spending. Get rid of the 14 trillion dollar debt and you save how much in annual interest payments?

  26. Feeling Sorry for Rich Folks says:

    No rich person creates a job out of their personal income, dan. And that’s what the major part of this discussion is about – personal wealth. Glenn Taylor is a bazillionaire, but it’s his companies that employ people, not him and not from his bank account.

  27. Cough it up Rich Boy! says:

    How many people does Glenn Taylor employ? Not his companies, him? Answer – zero. The wealthy get the biggest tax breaks and pay a smaller percentage of their incomes than a schmo making $40,000 (like me). They do not pay their employees out of their own pockets – their companies do.

    Let’s put this “The rich create jobs” crap to bed, because in terms of personal income tax, it’s simply not true.

  28. Wrong again Matt!! says:

    More excuses for the rich folks, eh Matt?

    Did a little bit more to get it……………

    Glenn Taylor gets taxed at 9%. I get taxed at 12%.

    To whom much is given, much is expected.

    Except if you are a Republican.

    Oh, and a flat tax? Get real. Who is harmed more by a 10% tax – the guy making 40,000 or the guy making 40 million?

  29. John says:

    We have created a generation of tax takers and it won’t be easy to get rid of it. But it will end, it has to when there is no more money to give.

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