Conservatives have resurrected video footage of President Obama warning against raising taxes during a recession, taunting President Biden and his Democrats who are pushing forward a massive tax-and-spend bill.
In the footage from around the time of the Great Recession, Mr. Obama said in August 2009: “The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up — take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.”
Republicans circulated the video on social media as Senate Democrats prepared a roughly $433 billion tax hike and the U.S. suffered a second consecutive quarter of negative economic growth, which is a key indicator of a recession.
“Senate Democrats should take Obama’s advice and not raise taxes during a recession,” Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, tweeted with a clip of Mr. Obama.
Another video that is being circulated features the same advice from Sen. Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat whose support made the new tax-and-spend bill possible.
In an October 2010 televised debate, Mr. Manchin said: “I don’t think during a time of recession that you mess with any of the taxes or increase any of the taxes.”
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Republicans have widely shared the clip on social media.
Republicans accused Mr. Biden of moving the “recession goal posts” in the wake of the bleak economic numbers released Thursday.
Mr. Biden’s team insists the U.S. is not technically in a recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit group of economists, is tasked with making the official declaration. They take into consideration additional indicators and they haven’t as of yet declared a recession.
Democrats argue that their new legislation, which includes spending on climate, energy and health care, will be paid for with $739 billion in new revenue from a 15% minimum corporate tax rate, setting caps on prescription costs through Medicare, closing tax loopholes and strengthening IRS enforcement.
Mr. Manchin issued a fervent defense of the new taxes and denied the notion they would exacerbate inflation that his a 40-year-high in June.
“We’re raising taxes by putting a minimum of 15% corporate tax on the largest corporations of $1 billion of book value or greater. [Anybody who says] that’s going to be inflammatory, I don’t think many of us can figure out why,” he said. “If someone’s upset they weren’t paying anything, please come forward. Tell us why you were able to have this great country protect you and give you these opportunities and you don’t have to pay anything into it and think that was fair.”