On Monday President Obama requested a year-long continuance of Bush-era tax cuts for Americans earning less than $250,000 per year, attempting to not force tax increases on an already recession-weary middle class as he seeks a second term. The president has isolated the Republican argument that the tax increases on the wealthy are going to hurt job creators by noting that most of the Americans earning over $250,000 per year are not job creators. President Obama has also stated that he has instituted tax cuts for small business owners, deflating the Republican attack that small business is being hurt by Obama’s suggested tax increase on the rich.
“Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy, Obama implored, standing in front of several people he said would be negatively impacted if the cuts were not passed.
Noting the bipartisan agreement on the issue, the president continued, asking Congress to “not hold up working on the thing that we already agree on.”
The proposal is unlikely to be enough for Congressional Republicans, who want the entirety of the former president’s tax plan to continue into next year. Republicans have been arguing that if taxes are cut for the middle class, they should be cut for everyone. They are also arguing that rather than the Bush tax cuts being the cause of the deficit, the focus should be on higher spending during Obama’s time in office.
Whether he achieves this goal or not, Reuters notes that Obama has successfully moved the media spotlight from last week’s unimpressive jobs report—a report stating that the country gained 80,000 jobs total, and that unemployment remains steady at 8.2%. This is a strong move for the Obama campaign, which now has serious concerns about the massive amounts of money being raised by the Romney campaign. For the last two months, Romney has outraised Obama, which would have been unthinkable just one year ago.
The British news agency also states that the tax announcement continues the rhetoric Obama has made the center of his reelection campaign—comparing his actions taken on behalf of America’s middle and poorer classes to challenger Mitt Romney’s personal wealth and big-business-centered policies.
Obama has also been successful at contrasting his policies to those that have been in effect during the Bush Administration, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan. Reagan introduced trickle down economics, which supported tax cuts for the wealthy as a way to stimulate the economy. The policy is now considered a failure and Obama has successfully argued that Republicans are seeking to return to this methodology.