Obama Supports Tax Cut Extension, But Only For Middle Class

President Barack Obama will support a one-year extension of the Bush tax cuts, but only on income of less than $250,000 a year.†The President will make the request formal in a statement Monday at the White House.

Obama has been in favor of ending tax cuts for the wealthy throughout his administration, but accepted a two-year extension of the cuts in 2010, in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits and temporary payroll tax cuts, and the end of a Senate filibuster blocking the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

That extension expires at the end of 2012, and Obama surrogate and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says that Obama is “100 percent committed” to ending the cuts for the rich.

In a Friday campaign stop in Ohio, Obama argued that richer Americans need to pay their “fair share.”

“We have got to make sure that those of us who can afford to do a little bit more – because we have been so blessed by this country – that the wealthiest among us can pay a little bit more to help close this deficit,” said Obama, according to CNN.

Republicans in Congress were cool to the President’s proposal. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that his caucus supports an across-the-board one-year extension of the cuts.

“This is the same president who signed the very same thing two years ago with the argument to do otherwise would make the economy worse,” McConnell told CNN.

That is not, in fact, what Obama said. In 2010, in a statement regarding the tax cut extension, Obama told reporters, “Republicans believe that we should also make permanent the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.† I completely disagree with this.† A permanent extension of these tax cuts would cost us $700 billion at a time when we need to start focusing on bringing down our deficit.”

Obama made clear that he was agreeing to the short-term extension as a “compromise,” and that he opposed it.

The short-term fate of the tax extension is bleak. Republicans appear unlikely to pass a measure that will only extend cuts for the middle class, and Democrats appear unlikely to agree to any measure that would extend cuts for the wealthy. With an election in November, it’s likely that both parties will wait for the lame-duck session to make any decisions on the future of the cuts.

The proposal has a more immediate effect on the election itself. Obama is using the tax cut issue to draw a distinction between himself and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Obama has hit Romney for being too allied with the interests of the wealthy, rather than the middle class.

The Romney campaign predictably attacked the proposal. Campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul said, “The presidentís latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators and small businesses.”

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Image Credit: 401Kcalculator.org


JACarlton Author
jill c5 years ago

Gene J. Beautifully, succinctly, and superbly stated!

I cannot understand those who live on a wage like mine and don't understand that they are not small business, that the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts will hit people who CAN afford them rather than stealing from those who can't continue to bear the strain just so the richest 1-2% can continue to have unaffected profits.

If you're not profiting from these corporations how is it that any rational person can fight on their behalf... really? Corporations are NOT people, if they all went the way of the dodo there'd be more room for mom and pop shops, and this country would be insanely rich! There'd be a niche for everyone to make their own living their own way. How on earth is that wrong? It's the rethuglicans that stonewall these kinds of ventures!

Danika Skalet
Danika Murphy5 years ago

@ Gene J, couldn't have said it better. @ Steve R, I don't understand where you get off bashing socialism when we have many things in our country that are socialist that are used everyday and nobody seems to mind. Things like public schools, firefighters, cops and libraries to name a few.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm5 years ago

High Fives Gene right on the mark. High Fives

Barbara S.

Personally, I think the tax cuts should apply to families of 4 making less than $1 million dollars a year. For a family of less than 4, $750K should be the cut-off. Many families are now supporting their college educated kids who have been unable to find work in their fields, during the recession. And many families have mortgaged their homes just to put their children through school. Those mortgages need to be repaid, and the parents are now nearing retirement when they face health problems and insurance costs which are still out of the park... I have written to the President, giving him my ideas on this. I hope the letter passes the Secret Service and White House staff, so he can read why I think the figures should be supped from $250K.

Ardith Arrington
Ardith Arrington5 years ago

@Steve R. "don't freaking tax those that create and provide the jobs to his "middle class".

So, where are these jobs that your buddies, the 1%, are creating and providing to the middle class? If they are creating so many jobs, why is the unemployment rate so high? Or do jobs in foreign countries count?

Steve R.
Steve R5 years ago

I'm so sick and tired of this "middle class" crap!

We're not a "class" based society!

And if Obama really wants to help his so-called "middle class", don't freaking tax those that create and provide the jobs to his "middle class".

Unless of course, his objective is oppressive socialism with the government owning everything and the government being the only employer.

Hasn't that been tried and hasn't that failed time after time? Some people never seem to learn!

Antoinette Harris

alright already...republicans need to sit down and let the president be president. get the country goig by helping the middle class.

Jade H.
Jade H5 years ago

Gene J - thanks for being the voice of reason and sanity amid a lot of those who are content with buying the Rep BS/smoke and mirror approach. I look forward to your comments on a variety of subjects here! Standing ovation and another green star!!!

Chris Cole
Chris C5 years ago

More green stars to Gene J! Love your informative posts, Gene! Thanks again!

Juliet Defarge
judith sanders5 years ago

Just to rephrase what Gene J. posted, under the President's proposal, you do NOT need to worry about your taxes going up unless you make over $250,000 per year.