Political showdown is set on federal income taxes

The White House says 1.3 million middle-class Oklahoma families would face tax hikes next year if current rates aren't extended as parties jockey for election-year advantages.
by Chris Casteel Modified: July 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm •  Published: July 24, 2012
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About 1.3 million middle-class Oklahoma families would face higher income taxes if the rates in effect for the past decade aren't extended, according to a White House report released Tuesday as the Senate prepared for a political showdown over taxes.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Vice President Joe Biden said middle-class tax cuts shouldn't be a partisan issue. He accused Republicans of holding those cuts “hostage” to protect the current tax rates for families with incomes above $250,000.

Republicans think tax cuts for the wealthy have a trickle-down effect, Biden told reporters.

“The problem is we've seen that movie before,'' Biden said. “And we know how it ends. It doesn't work.”

The tax cuts passed in former President George W. Bush's first term are set to expire at the end of the year.

According to the White House, 114 million middle-class families would face tax increases if they're not renewed, and the annual tax burden for the average family of four would rise by $2,200.

Vote set Wednesday

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a Democratic plan to extend tax cuts on family income up to $250,000 but let the tax rates for income above that revert to the rates during the Clinton administration.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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