(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he supports President Barack Obama's plan to extend the Bush tax rates for one year only for people making less than $250,000 per year, but said that "in the long term" he would like to see taxes increased for people making less than $250,000.
"I believe he [Obama] is correct," Hoyer said Tuesday at a Capitol Hill briefing. "I believe that 250 is a reasonable level, although as I said yesterday, I would go lower in the long term. However, this one time, the economy is struggling, and $250,000 is a reasonable level to ensure that those folks below that ... are not given an additional tax increase.”
CNSNews.com asked Hoyer’s office how far below $250,000 per year level he would like to go in increasing people's taxes.
A spokesperson for Hoyer wouldn't specify what income level should be subject to a tax increase down the road. “He [Hoyer] was clear that right now, 250 should be the number," said the spokesperson. "Anything other than that would be over the long-term.”
Hoyer also blamed President George W. Bush, who left office on Jan. 20, 2009, for the ongoing weak economy and the 8.2 percent employment rate.
"The president inherited the worst economy in your lifetimes--in my lifetime, in the lifetime of anyone in this room. On Jan '09, this economy lost 818,000 jobs in one month. Now last month we only gained 80,000 -- not enough. But very frankly, which would you rather have?" said Hoyer.
Hoyer was the House Majority Leader in 2009, and his party controlled a majority of Congress from the beginning of January 2007 to the end of December 2010.
On Monday, President Obama proposed extending the current, Bush-era tax rates for those earning less than $250,000 for an additional 365 days, from the last day of December this year to the last day of December next year. Under Obama's proposal, everyone earning over $250,000, including many small business owners, would see their tax rates go up on Jan. 1, 2013. Under his proposal, the income tax rates would go up for everyone twelve months later on Jan. 1, 2014.
Obama's plan calls for the top two marginal tax rates of 33% and 35% to increase to 36% and 39.6%, respectively, at the first of the year.