News / USA

Obama's Next Campaign: More Taxes for Rich Americans

President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.
President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.
President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign may be over, but his economic campaign continues.  The president is appealing to business and labor leaders, lawmakers and the public to press Republicans in Congress to go along with his plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. In his successful re-election campaign, Obama made relentless calls to middle class Americans to support his program of higher taxes for the rich and continued tax cuts for everyone else.

"Our fight goes on because this nation cannot succeed without a growing and thriving middle class," Obama said over and over again.

Since winning a second term on November 6, the president has been using a similar strategy to push for increased taxes for high income Americans while preserving the existing rate for the middle class. In a news conference this past Wednesday, Obama mentioned the middle class 21 times.

"We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy.  We should at least do what we agree on, and that is to keep middle class taxes lower."

The president, along with the top Democrats and Republicans in Congress, have begun negotiations, hoping to avert what is being called the "fiscal cliff."

The Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is holding firm in his demand for an agreement to cut spending on some social programs, but says he is willing to compromise on taxes.

"To show our seriousness, we have put revenue on the table, as long as it is accompanied by significant spending cuts," Boehner said.

To shrink the U.S. budget deficit, the White House wants an additional $1.6 trillion in revenues over 10 years, about twice what the president sought in the previous negotiations, in 2011. Under that agreement, deep government spending cuts would take effect and tax breaks would expire January 1, 2013.

Stan Collender works with clients in the financial industry at the Washington-based public relations firm Qorvis Communications. He says Obama's re-election and the urgency of the impending fiscal cliff give the president a political advantage in the talks.

"The tax increases will go into effect automatically, and the spending cuts will go into effect automatically," Collender said. "These are things the Republicans would like to stop, but the only way they can stop is by having legislation that the president will sign."

Nonetheless, the president is taking no chances. He has hosted meetings with numerous influential Americans, seeking their support. The president is most interested in gaining the backing of major corporate executives, many of whom are Republicans, said Collender.

"The president would love to get the business community to say to the Republicans, 'Look, we agree at this point that tax increases are needed.  Let’s stop messing around with this, because you are going to hurt the economy, hurt our sales, hurt our stock prices,''' he said.

Obama also met with labor leaders, such as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, whose support is more assured.

"We’re committed to making sure that the middle class and workers don’t end up paying the tab for a party that we didn’t get to go to," Trumka said.

In addition, the president met with the leaders of civil rights organizations, such as the National Urban League and the National Council of La Raza, rallying their support.

And some of those who worked on the president's reelection campaign are now pressuring lawmakers, mainly Republicans, to back the president's tax proposal.

"I think we are all aware that we have some urgent business to do," said Obama. Negotiations are set to resume the last week in November.

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Comments page of 2
by: daniael from: us
November 17, 2012 8:07 PM
rich buy their lower taxes
if this is a country and not a tribe, we should ALL PAY EQUAL TAX (IN PERCENTS)

by: JBoston
November 17, 2012 7:55 PM
When the average American family is facing a financial cliff they have to re-evaluate their financial priorities.

When the politicians are facing a financial cliff they can just go and steal more money from those who worked for it.


by: John Galt from: Daytona
November 17, 2012 7:53 PM
When the government punishes people for succeeding, then it is time to secede. Close your companies, lock the doors, sell off, and enjoy the money you've made. But some land, enjoy the summers and take a job in whatever business is left open. It's time.

by: Ed from: Idaho (USA)
November 17, 2012 7:43 PM
Obama's right in this (the ultra rich have doubled their share of the nation's wealth over the last 30 years) Particularly in the area of inheiritance the tax should be increased (how many children of rich people do you know who've actually done something meaningful with their lives?) However Obama neglects to also make cuts to millions of generational welfare recipients who have done nothing to improve their situation and are getting more and more of the nation's earnings. Obama diverts more and more federal funds their way....all the while touting his empathy for the middle class!
Its the MIDDLE CLASS (the movers and shakers of the country) who need help not the rich or the poor!

by: David J. Kelly from: Chicago ,IL
November 17, 2012 7:26 PM
TAXES FOR THE 2% , the wealthiest Americans , should be run right up to the 75 to 90 percent of their income, any capital gains taxes should be graduated, and increase exponentially after 50K in capital gains, corporate taxes need to increase dramatically , no more overseas tax havens and tax dodging by the wealthiest and huge multi- nationals should be prosecuted with EXTREME PREJUDICE. TAX BILLIONAIRES BACK INTO MILLIONAIRES. BOO! HOO! FOR BILLIONAIRES
In Response

by: George Hilbert from: New York
November 18, 2012 2:18 AM
haha France has announced that they intend to do that and a couple of those targeted have said that they will simply move to Belgium or elsewhere. Would you just sit there and be pillaged?

by: Erin Cabahug from: New York, N.Y.
November 17, 2012 7:17 PM
The so-called "job creators" took the money from the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and never did create those jobs. If tax cuts do create jobs, America wouldn't face the problems of joblessness as it now does. "Supply side" economics has been debunked. It is a fairy tale that only aggravated income inequality throughout the past 30 years. It's about time that America's top 2% pay their share to help reduce the deficits. 98% of Americans were thrown under the bus when the subprime financial crisis hit in 2008. The top 2%, on the other hand, have done just fine. It's about time they lend a helping hand. It isn't about class warfare. It's about pitching in and doing one's part.
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