Unfortunately, a rotten economy is what we have right now, with a record number of people in the country paying no taxes, inequity within the tax code for the wealthy and the poor, and loopholes and subsidies for businesses that amount to corporate welfare. This also flies directly in the face of their position the last several months in budget talks, which would not even consider anything that contained tax increases. As Ryan himself said, "whether it's letting a tax cut expire, or proactively raising taxes, it's still a tax increase." Anyway you cut it, this is the Republican leaders in Washington increasing taxes on the middle-class while protecting the wealthy and corporate special interests. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has come out citing something that Obama said in 2010, insisting that tax hikes in a down economy will hurt small business. "I think what he said then still applies," McConnell said. Of the Buffet Plan, McConnell remarks off-handedly that if he's feeling guilty, "he should send us a check." Unfortunately, McConnell's snide take on the matter doesn't address the problem of tax inequity, which is exactly what the Buffet Plan is aimed at addressing.
One of the issues in looking at tax hikes and deficit reduction is that there's already a Joint super committee working on deficit reduction, and will also be at least considering possible tax increases (whether in closing loopholes and deductions or in proactively raising them). Obama has already advocated for a further 2% payroll deduction apart from whatever the super committee decides. He also announced today that he'll push for a $1.5 trillion in new revenues from tax increases that will result from letting the Bush Era tax cuts expire (at least $800 billion in new revenues from that alone), as well as limiting deductions for the wealthy and subsidies for businesses and corporations. " Obama expects nearly $3 trillion more in new revenues over the course of 10 years. "We can't simply cut ourselves out of this hole," the President announced, countering the GOP push for austerity cuts to federal spending rather than increasing taxes. The President has also promised to veto any plan that comes out of the Joint Committee that includes cuts to entitlement spending, but no increase in tax revenue for the wealthy or private sector.