Higher Capital Gains Taxes Make Sense for Obama; Republicans Uneasy

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Jan. 20 — President Barack Obama's new proposals to raise tax rates on capital gains for high-income households would provide access to untapped revenue sources and could generate economic activity that might otherwise remain dormant.

But those factors don't appeal to Republicans who now control both chambers of Congress. “It's a nonstarter, politically,” said Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Urban Institute.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters as much Jan. 20, hours before the president's State of the Union address in which Obama was set to reiterate plans to increase capital gains taxes, which would primarily affect wealthy households.

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