Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today at 4:00 PM will be speaking at the Center for American Progress on the subject of the largest tax hike in American history coming this January.  Below are five questions the secretary should be asked today:

  1. President Obama’s central campaign promise was as follows: “No family making less than $250,000 per year will see any form of tax increase”.  Considering Obama has already broken this pledge, is it still operative?  Despite promising this again and again during the campaign (and still doing so to this day), President Obama broke this pledge sixteen days into office.  He broke it again (at least seven times) by signing all the tax increases in the Obamacare law.  So, does this pledge still apply, or not?
  2. Will you, on behalf of the Obama Administration, permanently rule out a VAT?  A VAT, which is a European form of sales tax, would break President Obama’s $250,000 tax pledge.  It would also lead to the same disastrous consequences that happened in Western Europe.  Even a 1 percentage point VAT rate would be an annual tax hike of $50 billion per year.  Various administration spokesmen will only say they are not now considering a VAT – can you confirm that the administration will never consider a VAT?
  3. You’ve said that raising the top two marginal income tax rates would only affect a small portion of small businesses.  But the IRS reports that a majority of small business profits will face a tax rate hike.  Does this change your thinking?
  4. You’ve said on The Kudlow Report and elsewhere that you don’t want the capital gains and dividend tax rate to go higher than 20 percent.  But the Obamacare law imposes a new 3.8 percent surtax on this income in several years.  Doesn’t that mean that you should be calling for a cut in the capital gains and dividends tax rates to keep them at 20 percent after this Obamacare tax hike kicks in?
  5. The United States has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world (nearly 40 percent when states are factored in).  The European average is under 25 percent and falling.  In order to remain competitive, doesn’t the U.S. need to drastically reduce its corporate income rate soon to avoid the further loss of jobs and even entire companies?

PDF Version