Obama: GOP holding economy ‘hostage’ over tax breaks for wealthy

Obama said Republicans and Democrats agree that the tax rates on middle-class families should be extended, and called on the two parties to come together on a policy where they find common ground.


“That’s what compromise is all about,” Obama said in the East Room, joined by taxpayers he said would be hit with a more than $2,000 tax increase if current middle-class rates weren’t extended. “Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy,” Obama added. “We can have that debate.”

Republicans are unlikely to agree to a deal that decouples some tax rates from others, but Monday's announcement allowed Obama to cast himself as the champion of middle-class tax cuts while arguing Republicans would hold tax relief up to preserve low tax rates for the rich.

For more on Obama's remarks, click here.