President Barack Obama has threatened to veto a proposed deal that would provide billions in corporate welfare, reported The New York Times. The president has historically been pro-corporate, abandoning the populist-laden message that fueled his campaign in 2008.
“The president would veto the proposed deal because it would provide permanent tax breaks to help well-connected corporations while neglecting working families,” said White House spokesperson Jennifer Friedman.
The deal would have permanently secured $440 billion in tax breaks for corporations over the span of 10 years, while the working class got nearly nothing. According to the NYT, Obama’s threat “sent negotiators back to the table to see if Republicans could add measures that would win liberal support, especially a permanently expanded child tax credit for the working poor.”
The tax deal’s supporters say that it “would give businesses more certainty about making investments.” The problem is that those investments aren’t likely to stimulate the economy, but rather just create a profit turnaround for those who made the investments. It benefits only those with enough money to invest.
Of the 10 provisions that the deal would make permanent, the only one that seems to directly benefit working families is the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives a tax credit to the families of college students. However, the deal still remains heavily slanted to the benefit of corporations.
Now that the deal’s negotiators are taking another look at the deal to make it more “Democrat-friendly,” Republicans want to cut a provision that would permanently expand earned income and child tax credits. They said it was “payback” for Obama’s executive immigration order. Republicans didn’t like something the president did, so they’re trying to sacrifice the poor to make a statement.
Since the Republicans are taking over Congress next year, they are planning to develop policies to balance the budget in 10 years without cutting military spending or increasing taxes. The only way to do that is cutting domestic spending, noted the NYT. Those cuts include education, infrastructure, welfare, and anything else that would allow the country to invest in itself in a positive way.
Obama’s threat to veto a pro-corporate tax deal is quite uncharacteristic. The fact is a little worrisome, but hopefully there will be some greater silver lining to the move. Then again, there’s is Obama’s TPP support that has remained in the dark for a while now. But that’s an entirely different, pro-corporate monster.