President Obama would fund his $447 billion plan to create jobs largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, White House aides said Monday after the president again called on Congress to support the package.
During a Rose Garden appearance, Obama pledged to send Congress the American Jobs Act on Monday evening when the legislative body resumes its session. Aides revealed for the first time that the plan will include limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.
Eliminating those deductions will bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue over 10 years, said Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The administration also is recommending closing oil and gas tax loopholes and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. All of the new rules, which would take effect in 2013, would bring in an estimated total of $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the president’s jobs bill, Lew said during the White House’s daily press briefing Monday.
Obama has proposed similar tax hikes on the wealthy in the past, but they were rejected by Congress.
Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said: “It would be fair to say this tax increase on job creators is the kind of proposal both parties have opposed in the past. We remain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, but this proposal doesn’t appear to have been offered in that bipartisan spirit.”
The cost of the jobs plan would be in addition to the $1.5 trillion that a bipartisan congressional “supercommittee” is tasked with finding to reduce the country’s spiraling deficit. However, the administration said that it is open to other ways to pay for its proposal. If the committee settles on a plan to reduce the deficit by the $1.5 trillion and also the amount of Obama’s jobs package, the tax hikes will not longer take effect, White House officials said.
During his Rose Garden announcement, Obama was surrounded by American workers he said would be helped by the bill, and he held aloft a thick sheaf of papers secured by a large binder clip to display the legislation. The bill tallies 155 pages.
“This a bill that will put people back to work all across the country, that will help our economy in moment of national crisis,” Obama said. “It is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. And this the bill that Congress needs to pass: no games, no politics, no delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately.”
Since unveiling the proposals in a speech to Congress last Thursday, Obama has launched a concerted push to win public support. He rallied students at the University of Richmond on Friday. And he is scheduled to visit a high school in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday and to travel to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on Friday to tout the plan.
In a statement released after the president’s remarks, Boehner said: “While we have a different vision for what is needed to support job creation in our country, we appreciate the President’s pledge to transmit legislation to Congress and will immediately request that it be scored by the Congressional Budget Office.... It is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of both parties and help put Americans back to work.”
Republicans have expressed some willingness to support parts of the plan, which includes a mix of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and direct aid to state and local governments. GOP members have said they generally support giving tax breaks to small businesses, for example.
However, most Republicans have balked at the high-priced spending proposals, and want Obama to explain how the country will pay for them.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement: “Democrats are prepared to act now on the American Jobs Act, which is fully paid for. Republicans must join us to address the American people’s top priority: job creation.”
In his Rose Garden remarks, Obama said his economic proposals have enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, and he hammered Republican opposition. For weeks, Obama has been trying to cast his administration as working with urgency to address the economy as Republicans dither.
Obama said he and Vice President Biden talked Monday morning about an article in a Washington newspaper in which a Republicans aide was quoted as saying the aide was not sure why the GOP would want to cooperate with the president because it’s not good for the party’s politics.
“That’s the attitude in this town, ‘Yes, we were for this before, but we do not know why we would be for them now,’” Obama said. “The next election is 14 months away. The American people do not have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action. The notion that they are not going to try to do what’s right for the American people because it’s not convenient for their politics -- we see that too much around here. It’s exactly what folks are tired of. . . .These are not games we’re playing here. Folks are out of work, businesses are having trouble staying open.”