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White House aide: Difference in Obama 'closed loophole revenue' amount from 2011 vs. 2012 a matter of context

By Doug Powers  •  December 6, 2012 11:05 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Republicans have proposed raising revenue through closing various tax loopholes and limiting deductions, but President Obama said the amount wouldn’t be nearly enough:

“It’s not me being stubborn. It’s not me being partisan. It’s just a matter of math,” Obama said. “When you look at how much revenue you can actually raise by closing loopholes and deductions, it’s probably in the range of $300 billion to $400 billion. That’s not enough to come up with a balanced plan that actually reduces the deficit and puts us on the path of long-term stability.”

The situation must have dramatically changed in just over a year, because in July of 2011, closing certain loopholes and deductions would have brought in three to four times that much revenue. That’s according to… President Obama:

OBAMA: What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates. It could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could lower rates generally while broadening the base.

The Republicans have been pointing out the discrepancies in Obama’s “last year vs. this year” statements, but the White House responded this way:

Context? Is the federal tax code vastly different this month than it was last July (other than it now can’t contain the word “lunatic”)?

Here’s a little possible context: Obama recently conceded that maybe $800 billion to $1 trillion in revenue could be raised under the Republican plan, but only by completely eliminating charitable deductions. So, **did the president put charitable deductions on the table last year in order to get to hit his revenue number of $1.2 trillion or is he just playing chicken with the fiscal cliff this time around so taxes can go up on everybody and he can blame Republicans (probably successfully)?

(**The Rhetorical Question of the Day was brought to you by Mack’s Ear Plugs — when it isn’t necessary to hear the answer, make it Mack’s!)

Have you noticed that the conversation now almost completely revolves around squeezing more money out of taxpayers and talks of reining in outrageous spending levels are rarer than Yeti sightings in the tropics? “Mission nearly accomplished” as far as the Dems are concerned.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell wanted to attach Obama’s plan to a bill that was already under Senate consideration, which would have forced a vote on the president’s proposal, but Harry Reid shut it down.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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