Obama puts focus on tax fairness
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sought to recast the November election as a fight over tax fairness Monday, a pitch aimed at painting Republican rival Mitt Romney as a protector of the rich at a time of economic unease. Romney’s campaign said the president was trying to draw attention from a limp economic recovery.
Obama’s sudden focus on taxes came amid the latest round of grim news for his re-election effort: For the second consecutive month, Romney raised more campaign funds than the president, whose campaign acknowledged in an email to supporters that it is in trouble.
Obama called Monday for extending tax cuts for middle class Americans while allowing a rise in taxes for what he said was the two per cent of the population earning more than $250,000 a year. Romney supports extending the federal tax cuts, first signed by former president George W. Bush, for all income earners.
The White House is again raising the tax issue with full knowledge that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will not accept such a move unless it also includes extending tax cuts for high-income earners.
That is a symptom of the legislative and political gridlock consuming Washington in advance of the November elections. Another example is the plan in the House to vote to remove Obama’s health care overhaul from the books. That will be blocked by the Democratic-controlled Senate and would be vetoed by Obama even should it pass both houses in Congress.