After a dismal jobs report on Friday, President Obama is doing everything he can to prove he is a champion of the middle-class while at the same time painting Mitt Romney as out of touch. On Monday the president announced that he is committed to a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax rates for families earning less than $250,000 a year while calling for a tax hike on those families earning more than that.
Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul said "President Obama's response to even more bad economic news is a massive tax increase." Saul continues, "It just proves again that the president doesn't have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class."
Even Democrats are torn on the issue.
House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has suggested that the income threshold for extending tax extensions be set at $1 million a year rather than the $250,000 limit Obama wants.
Some Democrats oppose any extension, while others are wary of allowing taxes to rise for higher earners because of the impact it could have on small businesses, an argument that Republicans have stressed repeatedly.
President Obama said, “This isn't about taxing job creators, this is about helping job creators." Not everyone agrees:
Keating said the move is an attempt to shift focus from Friday’s poor jobs data, in which the Labor Department reported the economy added only 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of economic estimates.
“This is a clear signal that these policies have been anything but helpful for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Keating said.
Chris Whitcombe, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business, said this does not alter the NFIB’s agenda, and that all of these tax rates impact small business owners, especially those top income earners in the 2%.
“They get taxed at an individual rate—so a lot of these businesses are at that top rate,” Whitcombe said.
Despite Obama’s push, Keating said he is confident the bill will not pass Congress.
“This is more of the same, with different packaging,” he said. “It won’t pass, and we will hear this rhetoric up until Election Day.”