President Obama revived the tax issue today, calling for a one-year
extension of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts -- but only for the middle
In a White House ceremony, Obama said lower tax rates
should end for Americans making more than $250,000 a year, citing the
government's need to reduce the federal debt and invest in items such as
education and infrastructure.
"Everybody agrees we've got to do
something about these deficits and these debts," Obama said, adding that
extended tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are "least likely to
The ceremony featured specially invited middle
class taxpayers who, Obama said, face higher tax bills of up to $2,200
if all the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, as they are
currently scheduled to do.
House Republicans -- saying that ending
the Bush tax cuts for the rich will hurt job creators -- plan to vote
later this week on a permanent extension; the Democratic-run Senate is
not expected to follow suit.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, has called for a one-year extension of all the Bush tax cuts while Congress seeks to revamp the entire tax code.
morning, McConnell said that "today's proposal is clearly based on a
political calculus, not an economic one" -- namely Obama's re-election
campaign against GOP opponent Mitt Romney.
"In the Obama economy, we need policies that are designed to create jobs," McConnell said. "Not designed to protect his."
The two parties agreed in 2010 to a two-year extension of all the cuts.
the months since, Obama has accused the Republicans of seeking to
protect their wealthy backers with a permanent extension of the Bush tax
cuts; Republicans say Obama wants tax hikes on the very people he wants
to create jobs.
Obama's latest call for ending Bush tax cuts for
the wealthy comes as his campaign criticizes Republican opponent Mitt
Romney for his use of offshore bank accounts; campaign aides have called
for Romney to release more of his tax returns.
plans to take the tax cut message to campaign trail later this week,
with appearances in the closely contested states of Iowa and Virginia.
fate of the Bush tax cuts is not expected to be decided until after the
Nov. 6 election, during a December lame duck session.
White House remarks, Obama said the parties should go ahead and passed a
middle class extension since they agree on it -- though that would cost
Republican negotiating leverage over the rest of the Bush tax cuts.
"Let's agree to do what we agree on," Obama said.