Sarah Palin sided with the small group of Republicans who voted against the tax compromise in Congress, calling the legislation “a lousy deal.”
“We can do better for the American public,” Palin said on ABC's Good Morning America during an interview in Alaska, though she lauded President Obama for “flip-flopping” on the issue of extending tax cuts for top earners.
The reason for her opposition? The bill raised taxes, she said, by reinstating the estate tax, which had been eliminated this year. Palin also criticized the deal on the grounds that it does not remove uncertainty for businesses, an idea backed by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and at least one other presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, but debated among economists and scholars.
“I would rather see Congress just hold off on this. President Obama, hold off on this. Let the new Congress be seated and let's do it right,” Palin argued, since the interview was filmed before the deal passed the House on Thursday and Obama will sign it today. If no deal was passed, taxes for all Americans would have increased on January 1. But Palin sees a workaround: “They can retro back what they decide to do in the first week in January.” That’s an idea not supported by the Internal Revenue Service, which worries that confusion could wreak havoc on the tax filing system -- and millions of American families.
Palin’s views also put her in the small camp of hypothetical 2012 GOP contenders who don’t support the deal. Here’s what they've been saying:
- Chris Christie: A spokesman said it “ensures that during this difficult economic time no American is subject to a tax increase.”
- Newt Gingrich: “The agreement to extend the tax code without an increase for two years is a great victory for American people and GOP leadership.”
- Mike Huckabee: “I think it's the best anyone can hope for at this point. Obviously, it's a much better deal than letting there be complete limbo about the tax rates.”
- Tim Pawlenty: “This is an important thing to accomplish.... It’s not the package I would have negotiated, but overall we need to make sure taxes don’t go up.”
- Rick Perry: “That was a trade I could accept.”
- John Thune: Voted for the bill.
- Haley Barbour
- Mitch Daniels
- Mitt Romney: Creates uncertainty. “In the wake of President Obama's tax compromise with congressional Republicans, only death retains the status of certainty: The future for taxes has been left up in the air. And uncertainty is not a friend of investment, growth, and job creation.”
- Mike Pence: Voted against the bill. “I believe the short-term tax deal negotiated by the White House and congressional leaders is a bad deal for taxpayers, will do little to create jobs, and I cannot support it.”
Scott Bland and Katy O'Donnell contributed