The President announced the policy – characterized by most observers as an election year tactic – on Monday. Republicans in Congress want to extend the cuts for everyone; Obama drew the line at those earning $250,000 or more. The President further said he would veto any bill that extends cuts for the wealthy.
“Senator Casey thinks that the priority should be for Democrats and Republicans to come together to avoid a tax increase on middle-class families,” said Smar. “He also thinks that we can’t afford to extend tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that will further add to the debt.”
While Casey would support cuts for those making up to $1 million, Smar said his priority is getting a deal done: “his priority it to come to an agreement that avoids a middle-class tax increase and provides some certainty to the economy.”
Casey said as much during an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review last month, prior to the President’s announcement. Then, he said Congress’s best bet would be to pass a blanket extension rather than risk a redux of last summer’s debt ceiling debate.
President Obama’s best bet, on the other hand, is to run against a do-nothing Congress. He’s taken a firm stand on the issue; most polls suggest that a majority of Americans support his position.
Casey’s Republican opponent Tom Smith said the expiring cuts amounted to an increase, and risks the country’s economic recovery.
“President Obama and Senator Casey have been crystal clear, if reelected, they envision a larger, more expensive government, funded by massive tax hikes on job creating small businesses,” said Smith.
Smith has advocated for a flat tax – though he did not specify a rate – and the abolition of the capital gains tax. Critics have said those policies would increase rather than decrease the deficit.