GOP’s mantra: Democrats waging ‘class warfare’

Republicans charge that President Obama is waging “class warfare” by proposing tax hikes for wealthy Americans, while Obama has rejected the criticism, saying that after a decade of unchecked spending, all Americans have to pitch in and pay their fair share.

Since Sunday the talking point has been used across the cable networks by congressional leaders and rank-and-file members alike. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) managed to use it four times in a single interview.

The president has taken on the criticism directly, repeating the term himself. “This is not class warfare,” Obama said. “Its math.”

Obama’s $3 trillion deficit-cutting plan includes $1.5 trillion in tax hikes on the wealthy, including the elimination of Bush-era tax rates on households with annual income higher than $250,000.

Obama wants the tax code to be “consistent with the Buffett rule,” which states that the middle class should not pay a higher rate of taxes proportionate to their incomes than millionaires and billionaires such as Warren Buffett, who has said he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.