In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said that Democrats and Republicans not only agree on middle-class tax cuts but the need to rein in spending, and used this to try to drive his position on the tax cuts.
"At a time when we are going to ask folks across the board to make such difficult sacrifices, I don’t see how we can afford to borrow an additional $700 billion from other countries to make all the Bush tax cuts permanent, even for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans," the president said. "We’d be digging ourselves into an even deeper fiscal hole and passing the burden on to our children."
Obama noted the importance of extending the tax cuts in the lame-duck session, but focused the address on digging in against the full extension sought by Republicans and some Democrats.
"If Congress doesn’t act by New Year’s Eve, middle-class families will see their taxes go up starting on New Year’s Day," he warned.
Now, this is the message President Obama should have been putting out since last year. In fact, the Dems should have passed a bill to keep the tax cuts for 98% of Americans and dared the GOP to kill it. That never happened thanks to the Blue Dog caucus, but now 2/3rds of them won't be back in January. Obama is laying the groundwork here for the attack the Dems need to make.
Considering only 8% of Americans think extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy is our top legislative priority right now, this is a fight Obama can absolutely win. Let's see the Republicans play Obama's game here and have their first post-election act be raising taxes on all Americans. That'll help them in 2012, right?
Here's the rest of his address: