House Speaker John Boehner flatly rejected President Barack Obama’s call for a tax increase on the wealthy while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the White House proposal to provide students with free tuition to community college is “something we can’t afford.”
In a joint interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes to be aired at 7 p.m. Sunday on WHIO-TV Channel 7, the two Republican leaders made clear that except for expanding international trade or increasing the child tax credit, they would firmly oppose many of the ideas Obama sketched out Tuesday evening in his State-of-the-Union address before a joint session of Congress.
In particular, Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., told CBS’s Scott Pelley that Obama’s proposal for $320 billion in new taxes on the wealthy during the next 10 years is “dead. Real dead.”
“Why would he want to raise taxes on people?,” Boehner asked. “There’s no free lunch, and the president wants to raise taxes because he wants to increase Washington spending.”
In brief excerpts made available by CBS, Boehner also called increasing the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour “a bad idea.”
“I’ve had every kind of rotten job you can imagine growing up and getting myself through school, and I wouldn’t have had a chance at half those jobs if the federal government had kept imposing higher minimum wage,” Boehner said. “Low income jobs help people get skills and they can climb the economic ladder.”
Obama’s wants new taxes on wealthy investors and families to help finance his call for providing all students with the chance to attend community college for two years without any tuition. The plan would cost the federal treasury $60 billion during the next 10 years.
“We added more debt during the Obama years than all the presidents from George Washington down to George Bush,” McConnell, R-Ky., said. “The last thing we need to do to these young people is add more debt and giving away free tuition strikes me as something we can’t afford.”
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