President Obama’s decision to pitch tax changes for individuals in his State of the Union address has only complicated the chances for tax reform.
Lawmakers and lobbyists were already skeptical that the tax code could be overhauled in the next two years when Obama was only focusing on revamping the tax system for businesses, an area where the two parties share more common ground.
Now that Obama has floated raising capital gains taxes on the wealthy and expanding tax incentives for the middle class, Republicans insist those proposals show that the president isn’t serious about tax reform.
“You mean his tax increase?” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said when asked about Obama’s proposal. “We ought to make the tax code simpler, fairer and flatter, and he’s doing the opposite.”
But Democrats counter that the president is simply engaging in the sort of talk that Republicans have been wanting: focused on ordinary households and small businesses, as well as corporations.