(CNSNews.com) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Friday the House Republicans will not increase tax rates for the American people.
“We’ve got to get serious here. We don’t want to increase tax rates. We’re not going to increase tax rates and we want to do something about the spending problem,” Cantor said at a Capitol Hill press conference.
Cantor also criticized the plan laid out by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to avoid the so called “fiscal cliff” by the end of 2012.
Geithner has proposed $1.6 trillion in new tax increases starting in 2013, which House Republicans rejected.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that President Obama will not sign a deal unless it includes tax increases.
On Capitol Hill on Friday, a reporter asked Cantor: “Democrats have now said after your response towards the White House proposal that the ball is now in your court, this is on you to put forth a proposal. Is the ball in the Republicans’ court now?”
Cantor responded: “Well we remain committed at all instances to engage in discussions that are serious. I think that the proposal that was delivered here by Secretary Geithner to the Speaker and me yesterday was not a serious proposal.
Cantor, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the president are engaged in negotiations to keep the U.S. from “falling over the fiscal cliff” at the end of the year – a term that describes what will happen when a reduction in tax rates pushed through by President George W. Bush is set to expire.
“We remain in discussions. I know the Speaker, as well as I, do not want to see us go over the fiscal cliff but feel very strongly we’ve got to get serious here,” Cantor said.
“We don’t want to increase tax rates. We’re not going to increase tax rates and we want to do something about the spending problem,” he said.
If the Bush tax rates expire and federal law snaps back to the Clinton rates, tax rates will go up for virtually everyone:
-- income up to $17,000 will get a 50 percent tax increase, going from 10 percent taxation to 15 percent taxation.
-- Income between $17,800 and $60,350 will stay at the 15 percent tax rate.
--Income between $60,350 and $145,900 will get a 12 percent tax hike, with the rate jumping from 25 percent to 28 percent.
-- Income in the $145,000 to $222,300 range will get an 11 percent tax hike, with the rate jumping from 28 percent to 31 percent.
-- Income in the $222,300 to $397,000 range will get a 9 percent tax hike, with the rate climbing from 33 percent to 36 percent.
-- Income above $397,000 will get a 13 percent tax hike, with the rate climbing from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.