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Obama Urges Extension of Middle Class Tax Cuts

U.S. President Barack Obama says it is "unacceptable" for some Republicans in Congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans.

Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that the taxes of a typical U.S. middle class family of four would increase by more than $2,000 if the tax hike goes into effect.

The president, who delivered his address from the floor of a toy factory in Pennsylvania, urged Americans to contact their congressional representatives to let them know about the impact of the loss of $2,000.

Obama wants to extend a tax cut only to American households earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans want the tax cut for wealthier taxpayers as well.

Senator Orrin Hatch in the Republican address Saturday criticized the president's tax plan, calling it "unserious."

The president has said he is hopeful that he and congressional lawmakers can reach a compromise to avoid $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect January 1.

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