On a visit to the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Michigan today, President Obama talked to workers about what’s at stake in the current debate about middle class tax cuts:
What you need is a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle-class families; we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don’t need; and then we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. And that’s a principle I won’t compromise on, because I’m not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks, and then we’re asking students to pay higher student loans. Or suddenly, a school doesn’t have schoolbooks because the school district couldn’t afford it. Or some family that has a disabled kid isn’t getting the help that they need through Medicaid.
We’re not going to do that. We’re not going to make that tradeoff. That’s not going to help us to grow. Our economic success has never come from the top down; it comes from the middle out. It comes from the bottom up. It comes from folks like you working hard, and if you’re working hard and you’re successful, then you become customers and everybody does well.
If Congress doesn’t act, on January 1st a typical middle-class family of four will see their taxes go up by $2,000. What would that mean to you?