House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called for an income tax increase on the 99 percent of Americans whose rates did not go up under the fiscal cliff deal, a hike that he proposed alongside entitlement reforms as part of a “balanced” plan to resolve the country’s fiscal crisis.
“Closing loopholes is like getting rid of fraud, waste, and abuse — it sounds nice, until you’ve got to deal with it politically,” Hoyer said on MSNBC. “I was for the Clinton rates. I’m for the Clinton rates, today. Now, I wouldn’t phase in the Clinton rates immediately, because the economy is still trying to get back, so I would perhaps go at least another year until you get the full Clinton rates.”
A return to the Clinton tax rates would be a significant rate hike on 99 percent of Americans, as these numbers from the Tax Foundation show.
Current tax rates (including the recent tax increase in the wealthy):
15 percent: $8,925-$36,250
25 percent: $36,250-$87,850
28 percent: $87,250-$183,250
33 percent: $183,250-$398,350
35 percent: $398,350-$400,000
39.6 percent: $400,000 –
The tax rates in 1999 (adjusted for inflation):
15 percent $0-$$35,48634,999
28 percent $34,999-$84,731
31 percent $84,731-$176,795
36 percent $176,795-$390,213
39.6 percent $390,213 —
President Obama campaigned against such a tax increase on the middle class while demanding that Republicans agree to a tax increase on the wealthy.
“[M]ost people agree that we should not raise taxes on middle-class families or small businesses — not when so many folks are just trying to get by,” he said last year at the White House. “Not when so many folks are still digging themselves out of the hole that was created by this Great Recession that we had, and at a time when the recovery is still fragile . . [T]hat would be a big blow to working families, and it would be a drag on the entire economy.”
Hoyer also called for entitlement reforms. “We’re going to have to cut back on, frankly, defense and non-defense,” he said to former Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., who co-hosts Morning Joe. “We’re going to have to deal with entitlements. A lot of my party would like to pretend that we don’t need to deal with entitlements. And, very frankly, your party believes we can do it without revenue. They’re dead, flat, 100 percent wrong.”