Obama: Reelection shows support for middle-class tax cut

President Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that his reelection shows Americans want Congress to pass a tax cut for the middle class.

Obama said he would work with Democrats and Republicans, along with industry, labor and civic groups, to find a solution for cutting the deficit. But he said the plan he outlined on the campaign trail is the one the nation chose.

“I’m open to compromise and new ideas. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach — that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans,” Obama said.

The first step should be extending middle-class tax cuts, Obama said. He said Congress should move on that even while negotiating a broader, long-term deficit-reduction package.

“It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97 percent of small businesses the peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. There’s no reason to wait,” he said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that Republicans would accept a deal that increases tax revenues to the Treasury, but not one that raises “tax rates.” He also asked Democrats for a “down payment” on a deficit-reduction pact, but did not elaborate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he wants to avoid a short-term patch to the deficit issue.

Obama said he understood the process would be an arduous one, again invoking his victory as a sign from Americans on the path Congress should take.

“We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That’s part of what makes our political system work. But on Tuesday, you said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many of your families are still struggling,” he said.