Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed tax cuts on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning. See below for excerpts of the interview and a link to the video.
“We passed through the House what I think reflected the majority view in this country, and that is 250 and under, you get a tax cut. But if you're over that, that's not going to spur the economy and very frankly you're going to be able to put food on your table. We've got two major problems. Creating jobs and, in the long term, bringing deficits down. This doesn't help doing that latter one.”
“I think the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans make no economic sense. They don't accomplish the objective of trying to help with the deficit in the long term.”
“I think we're all frustrated that we could not adopt policies that are consistent with what the overwhelming majority of Americans believe is good, sound policy.”
“I think the President should have made a fight that would have made it clearer to the American public the distinctions between those of us who wanted to adopt policies that would grow jobs and give middle income working Americans relief without holding hostage the wealthiest in our country. Do I think the President could have done that perhaps more vigorously? The answer is yes. Does my caucus think that's the case? Yes. But the President was confronted with a reality, as we all are, of… all of the Republicans in the United States Senate who said unless the wealthiest are given a break, then we're not going to give a break to those who are unemployed or those working Americans who are struggling.”
“[House Democrats] passed a tax bill which.... said working people ought to not have their taxes increased but those of us who are doing much better ought to help participate in what the American public also said was a problem, and that is…the deficit.”
“The President and the Congress are confronted with an increase in middle income taxes if we continue to have gridlock and no extension of unemployment insurance. Both of those will undermine the economy, and the President obviously made a judgment. We're going to have to determine whether we're going to make a similar judgment as to whether or not putting the economy at risk and putting millions of Americans at risk in their homes and their families in surviving or whether or not we're going to play a game of political chicken. Unfortunately, the Republicans have been prepared to play that game in protecting the wealthiest in our country. We don't want to put the nonwealthy in our country at such risk. We'll see what we can do.”