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Thanks to House Republicans, tax increases died in the debt-ceiling compromise, but the President made it clear the issue is alive and kicking.

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Obama Calms the Left by Vowing to Revisit Tax Hikes on the ‘Rich’

Thanks to House Republicans, tax increases died in the debt-ceiling compromise, but the President made it clear the issue is alive and kicking.

Just about anyone in the White House press corps could have predicted at least one portion of the brief remarks President Obama made at the White House on Sunday evening.  In giving his blessing to the compromise package on the debt ceiling emerging from the Senate, Obama seemed almost certain to once again voice his strong support of a tax increase on America’s highest wage earners—even though that option died on its way to the final debt-ceiling package, thanks to the insistence of House Republicans on no new taxes. 

And Mr. Obama did not disappoint, to say the least. 

“Now, I’ve said from the beginning that the ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balanced,” he told reporters and a national television audience from the James Brady Briefing Room.  “Despite what some Republicans have argued, I believe that we have to ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions.”

In virtually every one of his appearances before the White House press corps and in addresses to the nation during the debate over raising the debt ceiling, this has been the theme the President has underscored: that the 2% of Americans who have the highest incomes need to pay a greater share of taxes.  At times, he has variously called them “corporate jet owners” or “authors of best-selling books,” although the loss of tax deductions he speaks of would have applied to Americans who make more than $250,000 a year—not exactly the typical income for an owner of corporate aircraft.

By raising the talk of higher taxes on the “rich” last night, Obama strongly hinted that he is still committed to it and we haven’t heard the last about “revenue increases,” and “tax reform.”  As he put it, “Now, is this the deal I would have preferred?  No.  I believe that we could have made the tough choices required—on entitlement reform and tax reform—right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.”

Translation:  Whether it’s through the forthcoming congressional committee process prescribed in the debt-ceiling package or on the campaign trail, the voters will be hearing more about who should be paying their “fair share.”

As brief as they were, Obama’s remarks were made one day after a Page One story in the New York Times by White House correspondent Jackie Calmes reported that Obama’s “rightward drift” in the budget debate may have created a “rift” in the Democratic party with its left-of-center base. 

If that is the case, then the President was clearly moving to remedy this with his remarks Sunday night.

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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