The president's $4 trillion proposal included $1.5 trillion in tax increases from ending the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans and other measures. It went nowhere with Republicans on the 12-member panel.
Emanuel also laid out a plan for beating GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, leads Obama 51 percent to 47 percent in a recent poll.
First, Emanuel said, Democrats should remind voters of the economic situation Obama inherited three years ago and what's been accomplished since. Then, they should draw attention to what he called the "guideposts" - the leadership, judgment and values - that animate the two candidates.
"As the campaign continues" Emanuel said, "more and more people will see who (Romney) is willing to stand for and who he turns a blind eye towards - and that's the middle class."