Ending tax breaks for the wealthy a 2012 goal: Biden

WASHINGTON Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:21pm EST

President Barack Obama walks off the podium in front of Vice President Joe Biden after delivering a statement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama walks off the podium in front of Vice President Joe Biden after delivering a statement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, December 16, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration will be better positioned to fight the extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans when they are set to expire in two years, Vice President Joe Biden said on Sunday.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Biden said the administration will be able to make a better case ahead of the 2012 presidential election that continuing the benefit for high earners "does not make sense."

The provision benefiting the richest Americans was a centerpiece of compromise legislation backed by the White House and approved last week by Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years.

The $858 billion package prevented an increase in tax rates, eased taxes on wealthy estates, and held in place certain deductions and the current tax rate on gifts, which are usually paid by the wealthy.

Biden said he and President Barack Obama remain morally opposed to certain tax breaks for the wealthy, but compromised with Republicans this time to preserve benefits for businesses, the middle class and low-wage earners. The bill also extends benefits for the long-term unemployed.

"They're for two years and we're going back and going at it again," Biden said. "Life is a matter of really tough choices."

Biden said he believed priorities to reduce the federal deficit that he expects to take shape in coming years as well as an improving economy should help Obama argue effectively that another extension of tax breaks for the wealthy should be rejected.

(Reporting by John Crawley; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (6)
JackMack wrote:
Never gonna happen. The Republicans will demagogue the heck out of this issue. Congrats to team Obama for figuring out exactly how to destroy the Democratic Party and also for creating the perfect Trojan Horse for destroying Social Security.

As a 45 year-old man who has paid in to Social Security all my life, I would really like to have my money back today. It is now perfectly, clearly evident that there will be absolutely no benefit from it when I am ready to “retire” in 30 years, should I be fortunate enough to live that long.

Dec 19, 2010 12:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ageek wrote:
When will the Dems see that class warefare is bad politics? How about something everyone would benefit from – like real tax reform, not just hate the rich and make them pay …

Dec 19, 2010 1:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jalee wrote:
The naive thinking that the rich pay taxes is incredulous. If you have money, you can set your money into tax free holdings.

Dec 19, 2010 4:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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