In another type of campaign by President Obama just over a month after his marathon presidential campaign, the president is now appealing directly to the public for ta increases while not mentioning spending cuts.
Rather than persuade independent voters, as he did during his 2012 re-election campaign, Obama now seeks to pressure congressional Republicans into backing a debt reduction plan that includes higher taxes on the nation’s wealthiest.
To that end, Obama spoke Wednesday with an invited group of middle class Americans who would see their taxes go up if the White House and congressional Republicans are unable to strike a deal before the end of the year.
Obama and Congress are looking to head off the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a series of tax hikes and budget cuts that kick in next year if the parties can’t reach an agreement.
the president does seem willing to allow the across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts to kick in at the end of the year if House Republicans refuse to allow tax rates to go up for top earners.
Obama is treating the negotiations over tax rates and spending as a continuation of the debt-ceiling fight that created the automatic spending cuts in the first place.
Having won re-election and with current tax rates set to expire, Obama is looking to do a deal limited in scope to those issues. If Republicans would like to avoid automatic, long-term reductions in defense spending, Obama believes that the money should come from higher rates for top earners.
And if Republicans won’t agree, Obama is sending strong signals that he will let the hikes and cuts occur and then resume negotiations amid a deeper crisis.
Promoting an agreement that includes higher taxes on the rich as well as budget cuts, Obama and aides have begun a public relations campaign that takes many forms.
On Monday, the administration issued a report on the economic impact of the fiscal cliff, including average tax hikes of $2,200 for the kinds of families invited to the White House on Wednesday.
On Friday, Obama visits the kind of business that would see its sales drop if the government drops off the fiscal cliff: A toy factory near Philadelphia.
The White House is also trying to drum up support through social media, including the new Twitter hastag “My2K.”
These events take place amid rising concern that the parties will be unable to reach an agreement, and the economy will face the sudden shock of automatic tax hikes and budget cuts.
“I think the probability is we’re going over the cliff,”said Erskine Bowles, the former co-chairman of President Obama’s debt commission.
Republicans say they support the idea of new government revenues, but by closing tan loopholes, not by increasing tax rates.
GOP officials are also deriding Obama’s campaign effort, saying he should be using the time to negotiate.
“Every week he spends campaigning for his ideas is a week that we’re not solving the problem,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
All political leaders are now resembling actors out of Hollywood trying to talk tough and appeal to their bases meanwhile, American and their national interest continue to be ignored in favor of party politics. Where’s the new start President Obama promised if elected to a 2nd term? a forgotten memory on the campaign trail.