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Unfinished Business On Taxes

January 07, 2013 1:48 pm ET
Leaders in Washington have only begun the work on tax reform. Yet Senate GOP leader McConnell insisted yesterday that work on taxes is "finished, over, completed." Go on offense by positioning politicians like McConnell as defenders of our rigged tax code and raising the stakes on the home front cliff cuts they threaten.

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CORE MESSAGE

Politicians only say they're done on taxes if they want to keep our tax code rigged.

Connect: Any plan of action should look at what you've already done and what you haven't. That's just common sense.

Remind: If you're looking for massive spending cuts here at home, we already did that.

Illustrate: Almost $2 trillion in cuts in one bill alone -- hitting our home front investments like our schools, public safety, and scientific research.

Contrast: Meanwhile, our rigged tax code still allows billionaire hedge fund managers to pay lower taxes than their secretaries and some big corporations to pay no taxes at all. Clearly there's plenty left to do on taxes!

Warn: Yet some politicians want to put Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the chopping block instead -- even though in tough times like these, we need to be making them stronger.

Lead: Washington's got unfinished business. Cutting waste like tax loopholes big corporations don't need and Pentagon pork that our military leaders don't want -- that's what fiscal responsibility looks like.


ATTACKS AND RESPONSES

ATTACK: "We shouldn't raise the debt ceiling unless each dollar raised is matched with spending cuts."
RESPONSE:

  • Look, this is about whether or not Congress will pay the bills for the money they already spent. Congressional Republicans authorized this spending and honoring their commitments doesn't change how much is already owed, so it shouldn't even be part of the budget discussions.
  • If Congress doesn't pay its bills, we all pay the price -- our troops waiting to be paid their military salaries, ordinary workers with retirement investments in bonds, companies that do business with the government, families who need home and student loans.
  • The United States has always honored our commitment to pay our bills. In fact, doing that used to be so routine and non-controversial that it got done 18 times under President Reagan and 7 times under President George W. Bush.


ATTACK: "Wasteful spending is our real problem."
RESPONSE: 

  • The problem is taxes and Washington's unfinished business fixing our rigged tax code. It's still riddled with special loopholes for the wealthiest few and big corporations that get away with paying no taxes.
  • Cut waste, not jobs. If you want to cut, cut the waste like corporate tax loopholes and outdated Pentagon pork that our military leaders don't want, so we can protect the things we need to keep our country working -- like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, schools, cops, bridges.
  • When Washington Republicans push for spending cuts, they're talking about cutting your Social Security and laying off your kids' teachers -- so corporations and the wealthy get more tax cuts.
  • The best way to fix the deficit is to put Americans back to work -- and Republicans have no credibility on either. Not only does the GOP keep pushing to lay off millions of Americans, their own budget would add more debt than we've ever seen in a 10-year period in American history.


ATTACK: "We got taxes done, so we need to cut spending next."
RESPONSE: 

  • Actually, we need to finish the work on taxes. The tax code is still rigged in favor of the wealthy at our expense -- and corporations and their loopholes got off scot-free. Clearly there is plenty left to do on taxes!
  • And if you're looking for massive spending cuts to the things we need at home, we already did that. Congress already passed nearly $2 trillion in spending cuts in one bill alone -- hitting our home front investments like our schools, public safety, and scientific research.
  • So if you want to cut, cut the waste like corporate tax loopholes and outdated Pentagon pork that our military leaders don't want, so we can protect the things we need to keep our country working and keep us from going back into recession.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


TAXES


THE BUDGET


DEFAULT CRISIS

  • Raising the debt limit does not authorize new spending; it allows the United States to pay our bills for money that Congress already spent.
  • In fact, doing that used to be so routine and non-controversial that it got done 18 times under President Reagan (or about once every five months) and 7 times under President George W. Bush.
  • Republicans making good on their threat to default would mean defaulting on U.S. bonds (most of which are held by Americans); the federal government not paying its bills to the people and companies that do business with the United States, like doctors who treat Medicare beneficiaries; and raising the costs of consumer loans, like mortgage and student loans.
 
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Posted in - Budget - Taxes - Economy - Seniors

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