Obama Intensifies Tax Fight - President Calls for Extension of Bush Cuts for Some; High Earners Would See Increase
President Barack Obama proposed a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year but would let them rise for wealthier Americans, a move that both shifts the election debate to tax rates and sets the table for a showdown with Republicans in Congress.
Mr. Obama's move didn't break new policy ground—he essentially repackaged his existing policy for the campaign season. Nor is it likely to pave the way for action from a deeply divided Congress already in the thrall of the campaign.
But by highlighting on Monday his desire for stable tax rates for the middle class along with higher taxes on upper-income Americans to deal with the deficit, and prompting Republicans to reiterate their sharply different vision for lower rates for all, Mr. Obama's move had the effect of showing a clear partisan contrast that had been obscured by the campaign focus on jobs.
It is a debate that will be resolved only by voters—and perhaps by both parties' stated intention to move beyond the argument about rates to a new discussion about fundamental tax overhaul after the election.