On Tuesday, President Barack Obama launched a PR push in his bid to increase taxes on America’s wealthiest, but lawmakers in the U.S. remain deadlocked over the dramatic spending cuts and tax increases due to take place at the start of the New Year.
Small business owners at the White House emerged from a meeting with Obama that was intended for them to voice their support for his goal to extend low tax rates for middle class Americans beyond the end of 2012, while letting tax rates increase for the wealthier taxpayer.
The business leaders urged the president to continue fighting to maintain tax cuts for the middle class, said one of the owners after leaving the White House meeting. The business owner said that spending by consumers helps to grow jobs in the U.S.
Republicans want an extension of the low tax rates that were put into place more than a decade ago under President George W. Bush’s administration. The Republicans want the tax rates for all households, including those that earn over $250,000 per year.
Republicans said that increasing the tax rates for the wealthy would cause less hiring and investment during a time of too high unemployment. Democrats in Congress allied with Obama and showed no sign they would back down from the president’s stance to raise taxes for the wealthy.
On some positions that have been held for a long period of time, both sides softened: Republicans have shown a willingness to take into consideration new increases in revenue, while the Democrats have relaxed somewhat on their hard stance against some new savings to the Medicaid and Medicare programs that are so costly to the government.