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It’s unacceptable for some Republicans in Congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans. And if you agree with me, then I could use your help. Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K.
Yup. For those counting: This is the third straight week that President Obama takes his case for middle-class tax cuts—and tax hikes on the rich—straight to the American people in his weekly address, video-taped from the factory floor of the manufacturing plant where he pitched the same message yesterday.

First, he took on the role of Explainer in Chief:

The most pressing decision has to do with your taxes. See, at the end of the year, middle-class tax cuts are set to expire. And there are two things that can happen.

First, if Congress does nothing, every family will see their income taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. A typical middle class family of four will see their income taxes rise by $2,200. We can’t let that happen. Our families can’t afford it, and neither can our economy.

The second option is better. Right now, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. Everybody. That means that 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up at all. And even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their incomes.

And news flash, the president said, Congress can do that. Right now. So … quit dithering.
The Senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. Democrats in the House are ready to do the same thing. And if we can just get a few House Republicans on board, I’ll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way.
President Obama finished his address with a direct call to action, and a clear message about exactly how much money is at stake in this hostage crisis:
Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K.
To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
December 1, 2012

Hi, everybody. I’m here on the factory floor of a business in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where folks are working around the clock making toys to keep up with the Christmas rush.

And I came here because, back in Washington, the clock is ticking on some important decisions that will have a real impact on our businesses – and on families like yours.

The most pressing decision has to do with your taxes. See, at the end of the year, middle-class tax cuts are set to expire. And there are two things that can happen.

First, if Congress does nothing, every family will see their income taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. A typical middle class family of four will see their income taxes rise by $2,200. We can’t let that happen. Our families can’t afford it, and neither can our economy.

The second option is better. Right now, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. Everybody. That means that 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up at all. And even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their incomes.

Congress can do that right now. They can give families like yours a sense of security going into the New Year. They can give companies like this one some certainty about what to expect down the road. And with the issue behind us, we’ll have more time to work out a plan to bring down our deficits in a balanced way – including by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more, so we can still invest in the things that make our nation strong, like education and research.

So let’s begin by doing what we all agree on. Both parties say we should keep middle-class taxes low. The Senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. Democrats in the House are ready to do the same thing. And if we can just get a few House Republicans on board, I’ll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way.

But it’s unacceptable for some Republicans in Congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans. And if you agree with me, then I could use your help. Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K.

You and your family have a lot riding on the outcome of this debate. We all do. And as citizens, we all have a say in the country we want to build – not just on election day, but every day. So make your voice heard. I promise, it makes a difference. Thanks, and have a great weekend.
 

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Comment Preferences

  •  What's the appropriate response (7+ / 0-)

    to Republicans holding Americans hostage?

    "We don't negotiate with terrorists."

    Democracy has a well-known liberal bias.

    by MrCanoehead on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:09:14 AM PST

    •  Just like I've been saying all along. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, eps62

      The RW achieved their power in government by using such dirty and self-serving tactics.  They act no better than domestic terrorists putting every day Americans through the ringer only to fulfill the GOP's quest to make the POTUS fail.

      It was right for Mr. Obama to take it to the people.

      The Republicans are still not over the lumps they got three weeks ago by the voters of this country.  It's time to show them again what it means not to work with the nation's best interests in mind.

      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

      by politicalceci on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:26:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The president missspelled "all" House Republicans (3+ / 0-)

    If there is a single House Gooper who has expressed a willingness to vote for a clean bill to extend tax cuts $250k<, I have yet to hear his/her name.  I understand that the president doesn't want to go full Harry Truman in a weekly radio speech, but I still don't know why he didn't do so in the campaign.

    The odds of getting the necessary GOP House votes to get to 218 for a clean bill are Powerball odds.  I assume that the president knows that, so I will be curious as to his next move.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:13:03 AM PST

    •  Amazingly, there is at least one.. (0+ / 0-)

      ..a previous diary mentioned that Rep Cole from Oklahoma would vote for it.

      When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

      by Wayward Son on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:09:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The nice part is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62

      that his next move is just to (1) keep pushing my2K to the people and (2) wait patiently.  If the House does nothing, the taxes go up on everyone January 1st, and Obama reiterates that the Senate bill is just waiting for the House to pass it for him to sign.  From an objective point of view, the strength of Obama's position cannot be underestimated.  He can just wait, and he holds the more popular position on top of that.

  •  The same bunch of inbred Tbaggers that were (4+ / 0-)

    willing to default the full faith and credit of the United States in 2011 sure as hell aren't worried about the fiscal cliff in 2013...!!!!!!

    Speaker Pelosi will get the economy turned around in 2015....

    House Republicans really are that stupid....and they don't need to be running the country...!!!!!  and they won't be after 2014...!!!!  

    THEY REALLY ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO AMERICA..!!!

  •  This is how you negotiate. (6+ / 0-)

    You don't negotiate with yourself.  You make an offer, and await a counter offer.  Meanwhile, you let the other side feel the heat for their continuing intransigence.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:14:45 AM PST

  •  I like the way he explains it : (5+ / 0-)

    The first 250,000 of your income.  Even the wealthy get a tax cut.

    I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

    by TomP on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:20:48 AM PST

    •  also like "some Republicans " and his pitch (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, Mayfly, gramofsam1, eps62

      for a few R votes to join Demean in the House.  We arecwatching the complete self destruction (outside the south perhaps)  of the R Party.  When people start paying those higher taxes because offline "some Rs " the pressure on Rs will be immense.  

      I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

      by TomP on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:24:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Short of overturning November, the GOP options (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eps62

        range from terrible to awful.......'Some rethugs' will quintuple down.....cause 'some rethugs' are morons. Others in the caucus HAVE To realize that McTurtle and Boner should be ousted because they failed. We watch.

    •  Thrilled by it...he's getting better on how to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62

      it.
      we just talked about this on another thread and Voila he's evolved (in the way I/we hoped and pointed out) already.
      Glad.

  •  Obama did a nice job explaining how (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, ferg, Laconic Lib, DSPS owl, eps62

    tax rates work. He did an even better job of setting the GOP up to take a maximum political hit for going over the fiscal cliff.

    However, I don't think this means the GOP will see the writing on the wall and give this one to Obama in order to live to fight another day. That would be the sensible thing to do.  The GOP's ability to analyze the electorate has fundamentally eroded over 8 years.  The far right live in safer districts and they have control of the party.  Those who live in competitive districts are too weak to revolt.  There is no debate within the party because they can't even agree on the same set of facts or data points and what those mean.  

    I am yet to hear one Republican say "we lost because our policies are not popular, and we didn't govern well in the last Congress or when we last had control of the White House."  That's why I think this will drag out for a long while.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:35:37 AM PST

  •  We can dabble in semantics.. (0+ / 0-)

    .. or have an honest discussion..

    There is no hostage-taking. This fiscal cliff is a bi-partisan, can-kicking, and we've caught up to the can, again.

    What the President is asking,, is to raise taxes on those making over $250K, before offering any, meaningful  spending cuts. Like, let's get that done now, and we'll talk cuts down the road.

    And honestly.. what will that raise in revenue ? Next year's deficit would go from ~$1,300,000,000,000 down to $1,200,000,000,000.. assuming taking $1,000,000,000,000 out of private circulation will not slow the economy ? That's not even a speed-bump for the debt racing to infinity.

    How about a "clean bill", with (real) spending cuts first.. prove that the feds can do that, THEN go for tax increases ? Or a "clean bill" with no tax increases, then focus on cuts ?

    There's a very clear set of historical records on how; "tax now, cut later" ends up.

    •  R U Lost? (10+ / 0-)

      This is not the place for RW talking points.

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

      by ratcityreprobate on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You want spending cuts first ? Am I reading this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, Laconic Lib, eps62

      correctly? Spending cuts first then the tax issue?  

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:01:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No.. what I want is both , now... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just pointing out that making a "hostage standoff" over tax-increases that won't make a bit of difference re: deficit/debt, is a lot off fuss over nothing. And that a "hostage" reference is just as valid re: spending-cuts.. that have to happen.. no matter which "side" you're on..

    •  There is also a very clear set of historical (4+ / 0-)

      records on how "Cut taxes on the rich" ends up. It's called "financial collapse".

      It didn't work. Therefore it will be allowed to expire.

      Note to Boehner and McConnell: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." --Bob Dylan-- -7.25, -6.21

      by Tim DeLaney on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:03:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see it that way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      democrattotheend, Laconic Lib, eps62

      he is asking to let the tax cuts expire on incomes over 250...but to preserve them on everyone's income before that

      Keeping in mind that these tax cuts were set for only ten years, when written, to not hurt the deficit as much. They were supposed to expire in 2010 but Obama allowed extension.
      Let them die their natural death but help income people need to live on (first 250K) remain exempt because we are still struggling economically need to preserve folk's spending power.

      •  This is the semantics... (0+ / 0-)

        People and businesses have been planning/functioning under these tax rates for a dozen years.. decade old businesses, and workers, some nearing 40 years old, have known nothing other than the current rates. In reality, it's not an expiration, it would be new tax-rates.

        But that aside,, if it's about a struggling economy, why raise ANY tax rates (wasn't that Obama's reason for extending them?).. especially rates that would generate a meaningless amount of revenue, against +trillion deficits, and 16+ trillion in debt ? We'd need something along the lines of letting ALL the tax-cuts expire times TEN, and pretend the economy would still grow, just to cut the deficit in half... and the debt (and its interest) still grows by hundres of billions.

        •  Republicans insist we deal with deficit now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eps62

          They want to do so by slashing Medicaid (Romney...by 1/3rd plus...making it a block grant). Talk of cutting food stamps too.
          Economists say we shouldn't deal with deficit as primary importance in recession so I agree it's not optimal to raise taxes but
          to me it's worse to cut the very safety net that the most vulnerable are in fact lying in.
          They will crash to the ground
          some will die.
          I know some of those personally. Medicaid keeps people alive. Slashing it people die

          better let higher income tax cuts expire.

          The semantics matter ...maybe not to you...but when you say "raise them" people feel acted upon exclusively when really they get their first 1/4 million (enough, say, to live off of) at low rate as well. Other people don't know the history. Making these cuts permanant was not intended BECAUSE it raises the deficit too much.

          We should get unemployment down before even dealing with deficit. Obama as it is has cut the RATE of increase as far as I know though that is widely not know. He's not been profligate. yet suddenly because a Dems in office? Reps worry about the deficit.

          Again...better to raise taxes back up on incomes over 250 a few percentage points than make the poor go humgry and have kids die...which the REpublicans seem to prefer.

          Your economic argument is sound but on the other end of financial solvency, the bad economy makes poor working people even closer to the bone. Don't turn on heat so they can afford food. Gratetful kids get healthcare  via Medicaid, maybe helps with prescriptions. Looks like those who don't want tax to go up/tax cut on higher part of their income to go up are fine with that. We need spending decrease (cuts to poor and most vulnerable) or revenue increase. It is said you can't get enough revenue from closing loopholes alone.

          it is wrong to insist on dealing with the deficit now...as Republicans are and thus is our realtiy...and oppose raising taxes on top income above a certain level/ending tax cuts, IMO. IT puts all the pain of balancing the deficit...which again Republicans are suddenly interested in...on the backs of the most vulnerable.
          It is wrong.
          Don't understand your 40 year olds not knowing any other tax rate...they only worked since age 30?

  •  putting pressure on Repubs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    artebella, eps62

    Nancy Pelosi is organizing a "Discharge Petition" to force a vote on the legislation already passed by the Senate to extend the tax cuts for the 98%

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    This is a serious question:  Are there any Republicans in the congress that are reasonable targets to pressure to sign the petition and get a vote?  If so, who are they?  Let's start turning up the heat.

    •  Start by looking for Republicans whose districts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jplanner, eps62

      were carried by Obama.  They've got to be nervous.

      I'm pretty sure Nancy Pelosi already has a list of them.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:10:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think so (0+ / 0-)

      There are some who barely won last time around despite enormous amounts of money.  I don't think they want to run on a platform of raising taxes on everyone just because they are trying to protect the upper 2%.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:37:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're gonna ski off the imaginary "cliff" (0+ / 0-)

    Hopefully we stick the landing.

    There's no "Grand Bargain" to be had even with the "suicide-pact" sequester our glorious leaders came up with when they were "kicking the can down the road."

    It'll hurt people, but I'd call it a win compared to the corporate controlled, slash and burn demands of Bohner's brood.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:38:58 AM PST

  •  Get out there and tweet (0+ / 0-)

    That hash tag looks pretty active.

    It's time for the GOP to stop their bullshit and have a vote for the bill to cut taxes for <250K.  

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:03:13 AM PST

  •  WSJ takes a stab at fair and balanced reporting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tim DeLaney, eps62

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    See if you can spot the missing decade in the chart comparing presidential economic growth numbers going back to Reagan.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:03:31 AM PST

  •  I hope this scares my GOP Congressman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62
    Don't hold the middle class tax cut hostage.

    Actually, it's relief from a tax increase for the middle class that we're talking about -- don't hold it hostage.  And frankly, "holding it hostage" is a completely fair and accurate characterization of what House Republicans are doing.

    I urge you not to think the other side will blink before the economy goes over the 'fiscal cliff', in the style of Thelma and Louise.  That's not a good analogy.  Even hitting a brick wall isn't a good analogy.  It's more like suddenly starting up a steep grade.  It will hurt, but it won't be such a confusing disaster that people will have to agree to a solution before they understand it.  It won't be 2008 all over again.

    The Democrats are likely to call the GOP's bluff on this.  If they do, everybody's first paycheck in 2013 will show a bigger tax bite.  By the time everyone in the country sees that -- by the end of January, when even people being paid only once a month see what  the higher taxes cost them -- there will be an outcry.  And if polling is to be believed, they'll blame it on House Republicans.

    And they'll be right.

    My Congressman, Lamar Smith (TX-21) has pretty well fossilized into his nice safe seat.  He doesn't have to worry about his own re-election, but he ought to worry about his party becoming the House minority in 2014.  He has to remember being in the minority in the past.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:03:56 AM PST

  •  FINALLY the White House is getting this right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jplanner, DSPS owl, eps62

    EVERYBODY gets that tax cut on the first $250,000.

    It should always have been presented this way and it's mystifying why it took the WH so long to realize it.

    But at least he has it right now.

    ------
    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:06:05 AM PST

    •  Yup. Reason is that Dems fall for Rep talking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      democrattotheend, Alden, eps62

      points all the time. So does MSM
      so Reps called it "tax the rich" so we just went stupidly a long.
      Kinda how we let people who want women never to have abortion as an option call selves "pro life" . Really they are only pro FETAL life...they are both anti abortion and anti choice (for women), more accurately.
      But the ProChoice side let the other name themselves and uses it sometimes themselves (at least, prochoice people do) and the MSM let them get away with it and uses that too.

      Pro life is such a loaded term. Implies the other side are antiLife. We are not. And they don't care about most of life as it's lived by born humans
      I digress but you get my point I am sure.. We shouldn't let them spell out the narrative. Obama is slowly learning this.
      Thank goodness.

      •  Turn "pro-life" into "anti-choice" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alden

        I have been doing it for years, really pisses them off. It is pretty funny, plus it always seemed more applicable. Anti-Choice Advocates are simply trying to restrict the ability of a woman to make a choice in regards to her own health and life.

        "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian... America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance." The Real Ron Paul

        by 815Sox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:38:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's going on w/dKos? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't save a draft, and this story appears w/o a headline...

    Been getting error msgs trying to msg the helpdesk, too.

    :/

    (Sorry to dump this here - but not sure it's even gonna post...)

  •  Very odd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryduck, johanus

    After the 2008 election, when the Democrats had a solid basis for governing, there was giveaway after giveaway on legislative matters in the quest for some chimerical bipartisanship. I was pissed, watching Democrats (and the President) give away the store time and again before even sitting down at the bargaining table. But I was solemnly told over and over again that it was the way things had to be, and any talk of a "bully pulpit" or the President leading the way in public was just so much smoke being blown up tender, perfumed asses.

    At last, nearly four years later, the President is out front and center, squandering the majestic dignity of his office on jawboning the people. And I hear the creak of some rusty machinery beginning to move. It's a shame I'm not a fine enough person to resist saying certain things.

    •  I disagree with your second paragraph (0+ / 0-)

      it is the way around the Reps. I wish he did not have to do it but he acted "above it all" in the first term. that givaway problem he had came from that place...that they were adults, he was the President, and surely we all will put our country before party. Now he's learned otherwise and has learned that THIS Republican party and it's messaging machine (Fox News eta ll) lies to the public. He failed mightily in not bringing the ACA to the people and explaining it and letting the Reps explain it ("death panels"). The Reps won that one and the reputationn of the ACA suffered. People were supportive of every part of it but when asked about the whole rejected it soundly, believing the Republican talking points.

      Tell us (I'm open) how Obama should do this better...how can his Admin not repeat mistakes of the first term, which many of us agree on? yet not bring it to the people in this way that seems to be "squandering the majestic dignity of the office".
      Obama felt that dignity before and it made him removed. The Republicans acted like Obama did not have that dignity though Obama did. IT didn't work out before. What could he/they do better, t hen? How?

      pls explain rusty machinery I don't get it nor what you are resisting saying

  •  "Republicans holding America hostage" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    artebella

    I love it when Dems turn the stupid Republican talking points and media strategies against them.

  •  tweets and hashtags? (0+ / 0-)

    Damn, I guess Twitter is officially a thing if it's making its way into Presidential Addresses.

    #feelingveryold

  •  funny Onion clip about republican (0+ / 0-)

    obstruction (from 2011) that I just stumbled upon...

    http://www.theonion.com/...

  •  What is this? The new caffeinated Obama? (0+ / 0-)

    snapple crack pop...   We could have used  a little more of this guy over the last four years.  Let's hope it is just the start.

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