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Obama pushes tax hike for families earning more than $250K

by Dave Boyer-The Washington Times  |  published on December 1, 2012

President Obama described his proposed $1.6 trillion tax increase Friday as “a little more revenue” and raised the rhetoric on Republican lawmakers to approve the tax hike for families earning more than $250,000 per year.

“It’s not acceptable to me, and I don’t think it’s acceptable to you, for just a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they don’t want tax rates on upper-income folks to go up,” Mr. Obama told an audience at a toy-manufacturing plant in Hatfield, Pa. “That doesn’t make sense.”

Mr. Obama has been waging a public-relations campaign this week in his battle with congressional Republicans, who want to extend tax cuts for all Americans as part of negotiations to avoid tax hikes and automatic spending cuts next year. The Bush-era tax relief is set to expire on Jan. 1.

Republicans have proposed changes to tax laws that they say would raise about $800 billion over 10 years — roughly the same as a Senate bill that would raise rates on the top 2 percent of wage earners. But Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other administration officials presented Congress Thursday with a plan that would raise taxes by double that — $1.6 trillion over a decade.

The president said Friday that lawmakers should approve the extended tax cuts for the middle class immediately, and then work after Jan. 1 on other fiscal issues such as entitlement reform and deficit reduction.

“Our long-term goal is to get our long-term deficit under control in a way that is balanced and is fair,” Mr. Obama said. “I believe both parties can, and will, work together in the coming weeks to get that done. We know how that gets done. We’re going to have to raise a little more revenue, we’ve got to cut out spending we don’t need.”

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