Bloomberg News

Republicans Hurting Economy by Opposing Obama, Plouffe Says

November 04, 2011

(Updates with Bill Gates comments starting in fifth paragraph.)

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Republicans will be responsible for holding the U.S. economy back if they continue opposing President Barack Obama’s job plan and proposals to close tax loopholes, White House adviser David Plouffe said.

“If the American people look to Washington and say ‘you didn’t reduce the deficit,’ there’s only one reason,” Plouffe said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. “It’s because the Republican party here in Washington refuses, through closing tax loopholes, to ask anything more of millionaires and billionaires.”

Obama is laying out measures he can take without congressional approval, such as student-loan and mortgage- refinancing programs, after Senate Republicans blocked his $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending aimed at boosting hiring. Members of the congressional supercommittee seeking a long-term debt-reduction deal over at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts remain deadlocked as Democrats insist on tax increases.

Plouffe said he hoped the supercommittee would act “responsively” as the Nov. 23 deadline to agree on a plan nears. With Republican backing to “ask the wealthiest to do a little more” through tax changes, “then we could go a long way to solving this problem.”

Raising taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans wouldn’t be enough to close the U.S. federal deficit gap, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Numerically Not Enough

“I’m generally in favor of the idea that the rich should pay somewhat more,” Gates said. “To really deal with the deficit gap we’re talking about, that alone just numerically is not going to be enough.”

Plouffe said while the Obama administration will “throw everything” at the economy, it will take a long time to recover.

Employment probably cooled in October, indicating the U.S. recovery remains too weak, economists said before reports due out this week.

Payrolls climbed by 95,000 workers after a 103,000 September increase, according to the median forecast of 65 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the Labor Department’s Nov. 4 release. The jobless rate was 9.1 percent for a fourth consecutive month, the report may show.

‘Tough Election’

Asked about the potential Republican candidates in the 2012 presidential race, Plouffe said all of them support the types of economic policies that led to the recession.

“We’re going to have to go out there, and we’re going to have a tough election,” Plouffe said. Obama will “absolutely not” be a one-term president, he said.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain are in a statistical tie for the most support among Republicans in Iowa, where the presidential nomination contests start Jan. 3, a poll shows.

The Iowa Poll, conducted by the Des Moines Register newspaper, shows Cain with the support of 23 percent of likely caucus participants and Romney backed by 22 percent.

--With assistance from Andrea Snyder, John Hughes and Carol Wolf in Washington. Editors: Andrea Snyder, Ann Hughey

To contact the reporter on this story: Sandrine Rastello in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at

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