Some Oklahoma Republicans ready to support higher taxes on wealthy

Facing a situation where no action will mean higher rates for all taxpayers, Sen. Tom Coburn and Rep. Tom Cole say their priority now is protecting the middle class.
by Chris Casteel Published: December 19, 2012
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Protect tax cuts

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, who has advocated that Republicans approve a bill ensuring tax cuts for the middle class and fight over the upper-income taxpayers next year, said Tuesday, “If our leadership puts something out there, I'll support it.

“What the speaker is trying to do is protect the tax cuts for as many people as he possibly can and at the same time extract spending cuts and entitlement reform. I'm not one of these people who think if we pass something, we're raising taxes. Taxes are going up. If we pass something, we're protecting as many people as possible.”

Cole said the outlines of a deal “are changing by the minute. Each side has moved dramatically. Differences are narrowing, not expanding.”

Coburn, R-Muskogee, who has voiced support for more revenue as part of a large deficit-reduction deal, said Tuesday he would vote for legislation that raised taxes on the upper-income earners.

“If the House sends (the Senate) a tax cut for the middle income, why would I not want to support a tax cut for the middle income? If that's what we want to do — the Bush tax cuts for everyone but the very wealthy — making that permanent? I don't have any problem with making that permanent.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said he couldn't support raising taxes on any income level.

But, he said, “I just really am reluctant to make any comments on who's giving too much or who isn't because all that does is make Boehner's job that much harder. And I don't want to do that. I'm glad it's his job and not mine.”

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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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