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Snowe suggests she's open to deal on tax cut extension

By Shailagh Murray

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, a prominent GOP moderate, said she would not rule out supporting a temporary extension of Bush-era tax cuts, an approach many moderate Democrats also favor to avoid raising taxes during an economic downturn.

Like all of her Republican colleagues, Snowe opposes President Obama's proposal to allow tax rates on household incomes above $250,000 to revert to their higher, pre-2001 levels. The current tax rates were approved by Congress during the early days of the Bush administration and are set to expire at the end of this year.

"Where we start is to extend all the tax cuts. I think that's important," Snowe told reporters Tuesday morning. But she did suggest she could be open to a solution that falls short of the permanent extension of all the Bush rate cuts -- the only approach her more conservative Republican colleagues are willing to consider.

"I'm not drawing lines in the sand," said Snowe. For instance, she said a two-year extension would give Congress time to consider a broader tax reform bill, aimed at simplifying the code and making it more equitable. But in the meantime, Snowe said, "We need to extend all these tax cuts, and to send any other message is going to have serious impact and consequences" that could damage the fledgling economic recovery.

Democratic leaders are beginning to plot their strategy on the expiring tax cuts, but given their own internal divisions, prospects remain dim that the issue will be resolved before the Nov. 2 midterm election.While some Democrats favor a temporary extension of all the rates, until the economy is clearly on the upswing, many others support Obama's plan because raising the top rates would take a big bite out of the federal deficit.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) created a stir on Sunday when he announced he may vote for the Obama bill, if it is the only option for preventing a middle-class tax hike. But other Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have remained unwavering in their opposition to any solution short of a permanent extension of all the Bush rate cuts.

Senate Democrats discussed the expiring cuts at a Tuesday meeting, but no consensus was reached on how to proceed. Some lawmakers want to hold a vote on the Obama plan -- it would presumably fail -- and then adjourn until after the election. Others would prefer to try to resolve the issue before the current session concludes, to provide voters with certainty on the issue.

But that would require at least a handful of Republicans to agree to a compromise, probably involving a temporary extension of all the tax cuts.

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said it's still an open question whether any tax vote will occur in the Senate before the election. "It's more likely than not, but no final decision" has been made, he said.

By Shailagh Murray  | September 14, 2010; 5:28 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

All of you faux news sheeple. I guve you credit...you really have to work hard to be that dumb.

First of all, for all of you supposed "trickle downers", it failed miserably under Reagan and it failed even worse under Bush. You want to know who takes the cake for most anemic job creation since 1980? GWB, and thats after he passed the largest tax cuts in history.

Where are all the jobs the rich people were supposed to create? Where did they go?

On top of that, Obama has only CUT TAXES FURTHER since he took office, and again...no jobs. 250 billion of the 780 billion stimulus bill was tax cuts for EVERYONE. Where are all those jobs now? I mean the rich folk had Obama pile on yet more tax breaks on top of Bush's and nothing.

Let the cuts expire. The yearly deficit is reduced by 75% the next day.

End of story. Please, put an end to the most destructive fiscal policy ever enacted in the world and let the inane Bush tax cuts expire.

Posted by: Nosh1 | September 16, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Republicans and their --extend, extend, extend. They refuse to do anything for the people. It is proven Bush's tax cut will add to the deficit--why? we get a crumb while the rich benefit and we got to make that up generations to come. Republicans never fail to be for the rich so the lobbyist can line their pockets. How about firing all lobbyist so our politicians stop getting rich and we have to pay for them to be rich and screw us.

People only are upset with the President because they wanted him to to fight back immediately when he took office but he just had to give the republicans a chance to get on board and they did not just like we, the people knew they would not.
Nancy Peloski has more (you know what) than any male republican ever will and many dems too.She and Harry Reid stood up during Bush admin and they are out to get them for it.

Posted by: mac7 | September 16, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Snowe is open to a tax deal? What? This is Orwellian! She is open to a temporary extension rather than holding fast to PERMANENTLY extending them? It is the other way around! All of the tax cuts expire if a deal isn't struck to extend them. The Democrats are in control and could filibuster an extension if not to their liking. We must close the gap between the upper and middle class. President Obama is right on target by making the tax cuts permanent on all taxes up to $250,000 (maybe the compromise is $300,000) and letting the tax cuts expire above that threshold. We also need a deal on the Estate Tax, capital gains and dividends. If the Democrats cave on this issue they will deserve to be booted out for not standing on their principles and they will be helping the Repugnants to ruin this country. Grow a spine DEMOCRATS!

Posted by: SHParkland | September 16, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

January 1 will bring a rise in the tax rates. If the Democrats stay in power, each January will mean more and more costs that businessmen mush shoulder. The Warren Buffets are supporting Obama in order to protect their interests.

Posted by: RobbyS | September 15, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama pulled the number $250,000 out of thin air. Those filing tax returns showing more than $250,000 in income include many small . An extra thousand paid in taxes is going to matter to them, because it may mean the difference between staying in business and folding.

Posted by: RobbyS | September 15, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama pulled the number $250,000 out of thin air. Those filing tax returns showing more than $250,000 in income include many small . An extra thousand paid in taxes is going to matter to them, because it may mean the difference between staying in business and folding.

Posted by: RobbyS | September 15, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Re: So-called 'class' warfare. Tiresome term constantly reinforced by multi-millionaire K Street mouthpieces on behalf of their multi-Billionaire clients. Fact: Pile on $680 billion in debt over the next decade by continuing reverse Robin Hood strategy. Wealthy also get capital gains and dividend tax breaks. And, PERMANENT??? Surely you jest...a constitutional amendment to protect the super-rich?

A few more facts to consider. Those poor victimized small business folks? (another propaganda gift from K Street) As business owners filing individually, if they make $250,000 - $500,000 profits, they pay an additional $700 in taxes. OMG!!! Incidental fact: exactly 3% of 'small' businesses would be impacted, and if you're pulling in a half-mil after expenses and salaries - you ain't that small, brother.

It's disingenuous that the right is always talking about responsibility and patriotism, yet they refuse to shoulder any of the load for the future viability of their country. Patriotism defined as Tax avoidance at all cost? That's Patriotism?

Man up! Pay your share. That especially goes to those huge corporations (the most anti-America entities in the history of this country) that hide their earnings and jobs overseas so they can continue to suck every available dollar out of the citizenry and give nothing back.

Posted by: tossup | September 15, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

All this griping about "tax costs for the rich" is garbage! Ever gotten a job from a poor person?

What about the tax rebates to people who don't even pay taxes? That's worse than a tax cut/credit to people who are building and running companies that employ people who ARE PAYING TAXES IN THE PROCESS!

What about subsidizing generations of people who have never worked a job in their lives, who depend on SSI for income for example who continue to scam the system? Helping people is one thing, but the problem we have now is the hoards of people collecting money from the tax payers who have never worked a job in their life and would refuse a real job if offered! They certainly don't go out and look for one.

Here's an idea; Before a woman can collect a govenment check supposedly to support her kids, make her supply the name of the father (s) and then go after him for child support! That might slow down the production of kids to pump up the support checks paid for by the tax payer.

For the deadbeat males (and some females), make them work in public service to qualify for any financial support from the tax payer. Clean up the streets and parks for example. No more FREE MONEY!

Posted by: TexRancher | September 15, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

BUSH TAX CUTS DIDN'T HELP THEN... WON'T HELP NOW... TAX THE RICH... PAY THE DEFICT DOWN WITH ALL THE TAX ON THE 250,000 PLUS ... IT MUST GO TO THE DEFICT... NO WHERE ELSE... DEFICT DOWN ECONOMY UP????

Posted by: theoldmansays | September 15, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

BUSH TAX CUTS DIDN'T HELP THEN... WON'T HELP NOW... TAX THE RICH... PAY THE DEFICT DOWN WITH ALL THE TAX ON THE 250,000 PLUS ... IT MUST GO TO THE DEFICT... NO WHERE ELSE... DEFICT DOWN ECONOMY UP????

Posted by: theoldmansays | September 15, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

BUSH TAX CUTS DIDN'T HELP THEN... WON'T HELP NOW... TAX THE RICH... PAY THE DEFICT DOWN WITH ALL THE TAX ON THE 250,000 PLUS ... IT MUST GO TO THE DEFICT... NO WHERE ELSE... DEFICT DOWN ECONOMY UP????

Posted by: theoldmansays | September 15, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Tax cuts should be for all and should not exclude anyone. I am so sick of the class warfare of the Democrats. Let me make this clear. The Democrats have destroyed our economy and have pushed on us the most horrific expensive health care takeover than no one wants. Our family is so furious with them and disappointed with Senator Snowe. In fact, we are disappointed with Congress, Pelosi and Reid. We need to drain the swamp. It stinks.

Posted by: greatgran1 | September 14, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts should be for all and should not exclude anyone. I am so sick of the class warfare of the Democrats. Let me make this clear. The Democrats have destroyed our economy and have pushed on us the most horrific expensive health care takeover than no one wants. Our family is so furious with them and disappointed with Senator Snowe. In fact, we are disappointed with Congress, Pelosi and Reid. We need to drain the swamp. It stinks.

Posted by: greatgran1 | September 14, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Senator Snowe is not a moderate Republican. She's a RINO.

Posted by: wwwilins | September 14, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I pray that the President doesn't cave in and allow the Repugnants to fool him into believing that they will compromise. They lie incessantly, and there is no low they won't stoop to to win and destroy him and this country.

And, why can't those blue dumb dogs (DINOS) who said nothing about all of the excessive spending of the Bush Administration, be reigned in. How is it that the Repugnants have so much power? Why is the President and the Dem Congress so weak? I don't get it.

Posted by: denise4925 | September 14, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I looked back at the record when the Bush tax cuts were enacted and found that reason being pushed for the cuts at that time was that the government SURPLUSES were too big, because you were sending to much money to Washington.
Now the same people are saying those making over $250,000 per should not send more money to Washington because the DEFICITS are too large, meaning it should get larger in order to creat jobs. BS.
The Bush tax cuts have been effect since passed in 2001 and 2003 and are in effect now. If they worked, we would know by now wouldn't we? the jobs would be growing and the unemloyment would be down, not up.

Posted by: logrick | September 14, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain why we keep Congress in place? The GOP has voted no on everything, including their own ideas since 2008. We have Ben Nelson who is owned by all of the special interests in Nebraska voting against anything that doesn't benefit Nebraska. We have Boehner and Cantor, the bookend twins opposing themselves, and others. The Senate Republicans are going all over the map. And we are looking for a few people with a sane thought. Not likely to happen. They will mess around and the tax cuts will expire with each side blaming the other for not doing something.

It is as much our fault as theirs, we haven't made it painfully clear to them that doing nothing means that they will have no place to do nothing. The problem with that is that the Tea Party is the only alternative and that is worse than what we have.

Posted by: ronjeske | September 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

John Boehner and his allies may hold the middle class tax cuts hostage. its good to see that lieberman is finally onboard. Give us your two cents on this at

http://www.beyondmytwocents.com/republicans-hijack-tax-cuts-for-middle-class/

Posted by: beth25 | September 14, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Oh!

Another Republican on exile to the Gulag in Siberia or to the leper Colony!

Posted by: kishorgala | September 14, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

reporters, don't be tools! The GOP is hoping you'll keep 'reporting' that they're 'open to compromise' on this issue, so that you continue to help their NOvember prospects. Reality is ---as you know and as McConnell's legislation makes obvious -- they have zero intention of supporting any legislation that would help America between now and election day. Then, when their ranks are chock full of even more whacko extremists, they'll distract the country for two years around choice for women, the Dept of Education, social security, blah blah blah....There is nothing to that party but puerile adolescent greed for power.

Posted by: jbh3 | September 14, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Allow all of the tax cuts to expire for everybody.

Posted by: Lefty_ | September 14, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

How about NOT extending the tax cuts over 250K at all? That way you don't need a vote about it in 3 years for Republicans to BS about? As for extending tax cuts under 250K for 8 years - why 8 years? How about 2-3 for that? Long-term deficit/debt appear to be Republican "concerns", yet they don't care about having ANY fiscal responsibility, whatsoever.

Posted by: fbutler1 | September 14, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's a deal

extend the tax cuts for under 250k for 8 years.

extend the tax cuts for over 250k for 2 3 years.

makes the vote in 3 years stand on its own.

Posted by: newagent99 | September 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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