President Obama met with labor and progressive groups on Tuesday, including Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and heads of the National Education Association and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Progressive groups like MoveOn and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities also attended.
He promised attendees that he will fight to end the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent of earners, according to a statement issued by MoveOn.
"MoveOn’s 7 million members will be pleased to know that President Obama today strongly reiterated his steadfast commitment to ensuring that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent finally end December 31—and to protecting the middle class in the process," said the group's political action executive director Justin Ruben after meeting with Obama at the White House.However, in today's briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wouldn't say whether Obama would insist on the income level of $250,000 as the starting point for higher taxes that has been his baseline throughout the election.
The president "is not wedded to every detail of that plan," Carney said, when asked about the income levels. "I'm not going to negotiate hypothetical details."A few prominent Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have talked about higher income levels, $500,000 or $1 million. Setting the cutoff that high would reduce revenue, pretty significantly. An income cutoff at $250,000 is a bar that got Obama, and plenty of congressional Democrats, elected. It should be not just the starting point, but the sticking point.