xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

It will be a familiar refrain tonight when President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address pitches his plan to increase taxes on the wealthy as a way to help the middle class, but similar proposals have not fared well and, facing a Republican-controlled Congress, likely won't go far this year either.

Obama wants to eliminate the tax break on inheritances and increase the top capital gains rate to 28 percent on couples making more than $500,000. Raising the capital gains tax has worked in previous years. According to AP, Obama has raised the rate from 15 percent to 23.8 percent, but it is still below the 28 percent that it was under the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Advertisement

Obama also wants to impose a fee on financial firms with assets greater than $50 billion. The administration has said that it estimates those three things could bring in about $320 billion. Obama would spend that money on initiatives designed to help the middle class, which has seen wages stagnate in recent years.

The White House says President Barack Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a plan to impose higher taxes on the wealthy and use the revenue to help middle-class families. Congress would have to agree, and lawmakers have rebuffed Obama's earlier proposals to eliminate certain tax provisions and spend the money on road and bridge repair, for example.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Among the proposals is expanding the child care tax credit to up to $3,000 for each child under the age of 5 and providing a $500 tax credit for families where both spouses work. The idea is to make it more attractive to lure workers who have left the workforce because it is not economically feasible for them to work and then have to pay for child care or other expenses when their spouse is also working.

Obama also wants to make two years of community college free for all students who maintain a certain grade-point average and work toward a degree. While a HuffPost/YouGov poll last week found that 60 percent of those asked supported the idea, it received a cold reception among Republicans in Congress.

This is the first year that Obama will have to deal with both a House and Senate controlled by Republicans. While there are some areas of reforms where the two parties likely could find common ground, it is unlikely that any of his big initiatives will get much support.

Tonight's address will provide Obama's blueprint for things that he hopes to accomplish. The Republican response that follows the president's address, however, will provide a more clear picture of what the Republicans hope to achieve now that they control both houses of Congress.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement