Republican lawmakers are already signaling they will do what they can to block President Barack Obama’s pitch for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.
Obama is making that pitch to a huge television audience in hopes of putting the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.
As Obama continues to signal what he will propose during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, senior administration officials said during the weekend that he will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances. The revenue generated by those changes would fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for middle-class taxpayers, officials said.
Administration officials pointed to a third proposal from the president as one they hope Republicans would support: a fee on the roughly 100 U.S. financial firms with assets of more than $50 billion.
Raising the capital gains rate, ending the inheritance loophole and tacking a fee on financial firms would generate $320 billion in revenue over a decade, according to administration estimates. Obama wants to put the bulk of that money into a series of measures aimed at helping middle-class Americans.