Obama Seeks to End Tax Breaks to Pay for Jobs Plan


WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama would pay for his $447 billion jobs plan by ending a series of tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge-fund managers and people making more than $200,000, the White House said Monday.

In total, Mr. Obama’s plan would end about $467 billion of tax breaks over 10 years, said White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew. The president has previously proposed ending the tax breaks, but has faced stiff resistance from Republicans.

President Obama holds a copy of the “American Jobs Act” he will send up to Congress for passage while standing next to Vice President Biden in the Rose Garden Monday.

By choosing to end the tax breaks, the White House is likely setting itself up for a fight with Republicans. Over the summer, Republicans said they wouldn’t end tax breaks amid concerns doing so as the U.S. is coming out of a recession would hamper the recovery.

“It would be fair to say this tax increase on job creators is the kind of proposal both parties have opposed in the past,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio). He continued, “We remain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, but this proposal doesn’t appear to have been offered in that bipartisan spirit.”

The White House disputed the notion that raising taxes on the wealthy would hurt growth. The measures to pay for spending “are spread out so that there aren’t negative impacts,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

The White House is also taking a gamble that Republicans are willing to budge on taxes after getting bruised, politically, over a tough budget fight in the summer.

Mr. Lew said he thinks most Americans would easily end tax breaks for oil and gas companies and hedge-fund managers to spur growth.

“That is not a hard choice for most Americans, if the choice is creating, you know, economic growth and jobs, or tolerating the results of many years of inequities in the tax code,” Mr. Lew said.

Mr. Obama is sending his jobs plan, including details of how it will be paid for, to Congress later Monday. Speaking in the White House Rose Garden Monday morning, Mr. Obama urged Congress to pass the package.

“This is the bill that Congress needs to pass—no games, no politics, no delays,” Mr. Obama said.

The following is a list of tax breaks that will be ended or limited to pay for the jobs bill, according to the White House:

  • Limit on itemized deductions ($200,000 individuals, $250,000 families)
  • Carried interest would be treated as “ordinary income” rather than at capital-gains rate
  • Oil- and gas-company tax breaks
  • Corporate-jet depreciation would change