Speaker Pelosi – ‘No Justification’ for Tax Cuts for Wealthiest Few

Speaker Pelosi supports President Obama’s Middle Class Tax Cuts proposal, which will help 98 percent of Americans and at least 97 percent of small businesses. Speaker Pelosi remains opposed to the GOP plan to double the deficit and give tax cuts to the wealthiest few.

Roll Call: Pelosi Rejects Short-Term Tax Cut Extension for Wealthy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she opposes a short-term extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, a proposal that several vulnerable Democrats are pushing.

Pressed Asked Thursday on whether she is open to a one- or two-year temporary extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in exchange for making the middle-class tax cuts permanent — an idea that has been floated recently by members of her Caucus – Pelosi responded, “not for the wealthy, no.”

Politics Daily: Nancy Pelosi Says No Deal on Tax Cuts for the Rich

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she wants to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts for lower- and-middle-income families before the November elections, but opposes renewing breaks for individuals making more than $200,000 per year or families making more than $250,000.

“I see no justification for going into debt to foreign countries to underwrite and subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference.

Reuters: Pelosi sees no justification for high-end tax cuts

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday there is “no justification” for extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, saying the nation cannot afford the price tag…

“I see no justification for giving a tax break, going into debt with foreign countries to underwrite the subsidized tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America,” Pelosi told reporters.

She also said that tax cuts “at the high end have not produced any jobs, they have only increased the deficit.”

The fact is, not only do the American people oppose giving a $700 billion tax cut to the wealthiest few, there is ample evidence that extending cuts for wealthiest two percent of Americans is not the best way to help our economy.

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winning Economist:

extending the tax cuts for America’s wealthiest 2 percent would be a big mistake. Resources are scarce — even in a rich country — and this is not the way to spend the government’s scarce dollars…it makes no sense to extend these tax cuts — which the country could not afford in the first place — to upper-income Americans, who have done so well for the past quarter-century. Extending their tax cuts just increases the national debt — with little stimulus.

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf:

Policies that temporarily increased the after-tax income of people who are relatively well off would probably have little effect on their spending because they generally would be able finance their consumption out of their income or assets without such a change.

Paul Krugman, New York Times Columnist and Winner of Nobel Prize for Economics

…it’s hard to think of a less cost-effective way to help the economy than giving money to people who already have plenty, and aren’t likely to spend a windfall.

Bloomberg, “Rich Americans Save Tax Cuts Instead of Spending, Moody’s Says”

Hand the wealthiest Americans a tax cut and history suggests they will save the money rather than spend it.

Tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 under President George W. Bush were followed by increases in the saving rate among the rich, according to data from Moody’s Analytics Inc. When taxes were raised under Bill Clinton, the saving rate fell.

William Gale, Co-Director of the Tax Policy Center

…the overall effect of the Bush tax cuts on economic growth has therefore been negative — and it will continue to be negative if the cuts are extended.