In Pa. Today, Obama to Urge Immediate Extension of Middle-Class Tax Cuts
President Obama will argue Friday that immediate renewal of lower Bush-era tax rates for the middle-class could prevent a ‘hit to consumer spending’ during the holidays, as he visits a Montgomery County toy factory, according to a White House official.
The campaign-style stop is part of a stepped-up effort designed to pressure Republicans, who control the House and have blocking power in the Senate, to bend to the president’s will in negotiations over a budget deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. If the two sides don’t agree on a deficit-reduction plan by Dec. 31, the income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will expire and automatic budget cuts will begin.
That’s the cliff, which experts say would have a recessionary effect on the economy.
Obama wants to allow taxes to go up on those making more than $250,000 a year while renewing the lower rates for those under that threshold. Republicans want to keep all the rates from increasing, arguing a fragile economic recovery is no time to raise the tax burden.
By focusing relentlessly on taxes, Obama has thrown the GOP on the defensive. But Republicans are pointing out that the president has yet to detail any real spending cuts to round out what he has called his ‘balanced’ approach to deficit reduction.