Approaching the Fiscal Cliff: More Calls for Balanced Solution, Preventing Middle Class Tax Increase

For Immediate Release:

December 11, 2012

As we get closer to the deadline to reach a solution to the fiscal cliff, a growing number of Republicans have publicly supported the idea of passing middle class tax cuts now to protect families and small businesses from a tax increase on January 1 while negotiations continue on higher tax rates for the wealthiest two percent in our country:

Sen. Tom Coburn: “I’m for raising revenue because we have to.” [POLITICO, 12/11]

Sen. Bob Corker: “There’s a growing body of folks who are willing to look at the rate on the top 2 percent.” [Fox News Sunday, 12/9]

Sen. Susan Collins: “Representative Cole’s proposal to proceed with an extension of tax relief for working families making $250,000 or less has merit because everyone agrees lower and middle-income families should not be subjected to higher taxes.” [Press Herald, 12/6]

Sen. Olympia Snowe: “Americans, she said, ‘should not even be questioning that we will ultimately raise taxes on low- to middle-income people.’ Congress could take that off the table ‘while you’re grappling with tax cuts for the wealthy.’” [New York Times, 12/5]

Rep. Kay Granger: “Extending middle class tax cuts is ‘just the right thing to do.’” [Bloomberg, 12/5]

Rep. Steven LaTourette: “The sense was that there's a growing number of folks in our party that are saying, you know what, the president has won this round relative to the rates…” [CNN, 12/5]

Rep. Mike Simpson: “‘I wouldn't have a problem with letting those tax rates go up,’ provided they are coupled with spending cuts.” [Reuters, 11/29]

Rep. Robert Dold: “Tom Cole is talking about passing the ones that are out there so there could be more certainty, and I think that would be a positive step.” [New York Times, 11/29]

Rep. Charlie Bass: “No question, if we go over the fiscal cliff and Congress allowed it to happen because we would not let taxes go up on the top 2 percent, that is not a battle we are likely to win.” [New York Times, 11/29]

Rep. Mary Bono Mack: “I have to say that if you're going to sign me up with a camp, I like what Tom Cole has to say.” [CNN, 11/29]

Rep. Tom Cole: “I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now … I don’t see that as a violation of my pledge.” [POLITICO, 11/27]

Meanwhile, an increasing number of CEOs are calling for a balanced solution that includes both spending cuts and increased revenue.  These business leaders recognize that the effects of going over the fiscal cliff will be devastating to our economy, and a responsible solution that includes asking our country’s wealthiest to pay their fair share is the best way to put our country back on a fiscally sustainable path.

Here’s a look at what some of our country’s business leaders have said:

Fritz Van Paasschen, CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts: “Uncertainty is very costly, and so the longer we go without understanding what's going on, the worst we get. …  So there has to be some work on raising taxes …This is a time where both sides need to give - the business community has been very clear that what they want is compromise.” [CNBC, 12/10]

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric: “We need revenue, everybody knows we need revenue… Bowles-Simpson, there’s not been one commission that says we can do this just on spending cuts. There’s going to have to be revenue. I think Speaker Boehner’s the only guy who can lead us on that…He’s gotta take the heat and I trust he can do it.” [CBS “This Morning,” 12/9]

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway: “I support President Barack Obama's proposal to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for high-income taxpayers” [New York Times, 11/26]

Dave Cote, CEO of Honeywell: “Solving the problem requires ‘both an increase in taxes and significant entitlement reform, along with discretionary spending cuts if this is going to work, and we need this to work.” [Fox Business, 11/13]

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs: “"I believe that tax increases, especially for the wealthiest, are appropriate.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/13]

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