“This was a pure White House ask,” one GOP Senate aide familiar with the fiscal cliff negotiations told me when I asked how $60+ billion of special-interest tax breaks ended up in the fiscal cliff deal. I called and emailed the White House for days, but couldn’t get confirmation or denial.
But now Reuters seems to corroborate what my Republican sources told me:
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday said that Obama supported the overall package of tax breaks for businesses. He emphasized that the president favored the wind energy credit and tax benefits for research and development to encourage “job-creating research investments.”
Carney also said that many of the tax breaks in the fiscal cliff bill had bipartisan support.
“It would strain the credulity of everyone in this room to suggest that Republicans did not support or want tax credits for business,” Carney said during his daily briefing to reporters.
So, sure, the GOP didn’t appear to be kicking and screaming too much about the corporate welfare in the cliff deal, but it’s noteworthy that Obama was definitely supporting it, despite his rhetoric about ensuring everyone “pays a fair share.”
And WH spokesman Jay Carney (no relation) focussing on the wind subsidies is a bit of a dodge, as the tax-break package also included special carveouts for multinationals to move profits into offshore financial subsidiaries.