White House Stops Pushing for Higher Top Tax Rates in Deficit Deal

The White House has maintained its unwavering promise that the President won't sign any major deficit reduction deal without substantial revenue increases. Much of this could come through closing tax loopholes and canceling ending major subsidies, but obviously the cornerstone of the White House's call for more revenues is to return the highest two income tax bracket rates to their Clinton-era levels. But yet again, it's starting to sound like that's being put on hold.

Since the Bush Tax Cuts that Obama extended in December aren't due to sunset again until 2013, this deficit reduction debate that's linked to raising the debt ceiling won't be the last opportunity for the White House to get its signature "raise taxes on the rich" policy through. But still, why does Obama always get his supporters all worked up and rallied around this issue before coming up with, say, a plan to get it done? Liberals are beyond tired of seeing crappy updates like this whenever a deadline approaches and Republicans won't budge:

President Obama is not pushing for the end of the Bush tax rates for the wealthy in negotiations on raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

The White House on Monday underlined that Obama is pushing for Republicans to agree to eliminate certain tax breaks and loopholes for businesses and wealthier taxpayers, but is not trying to eliminate Bush-era tax rates for families making more than $250,000.

Obama still wants to end those tax rates, but with time running out on the debt-ceiling talks, the White House made it clear Monday that it has changed targets in the current negotiations.

So now that this retreat is in the works, expect to hear top Democrats talk even more about cutting a few billion dollars a year in subsidies for oil and gas companies. That's not a bad idea, and it certainly makes liberals feel good about themselves when they join a Facebook group advocating for it, but it would only save $40 billion over ten years. Nothing. And since we still have no comprehensive alternative energy plan in this country, it's not like cutting these subsidies would reform the American way of doing business at all. Don't let Democratic leaders play you like this.

But there is some good news! The White Does confirmed that it is focusing on ending the carried-interest tax loophole — hedge fund managers' favorite way of not paying the taxes they should be paying. We'll see if they stick to that. Usually whenever it's brought up, a few hedge fund guys just call Sen. Chuck Schumer and he takes it out immediately. Ha ha, Democrats.

[Image via AP]