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(Obama photo: White House. Romney photo: Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
President Obama's push to extend the Bush tax cuts on income under $250,000 a year but not on income over $250,000 has support from a solid majority of Americans. But holding firm to his role as defender of the 1 percent, Mitt Romney is making a stand to keep the very wealthy from having to pay their fair share.

According to a National Journal poll,

...60 percent think it is "very important" to extend the cuts for families making less than $250,000, while just 40 percent think it is "very important" to extend those rates for all taxpayers. When the percentages are combined for those who said each was very or somewhat important, 68 percent place importance on extending the cuts for all, compared with 82 percent for just those who make less than $250,000 a year.
But according to Mitt Romney, keeping tax rates at the same low level for families making less than $250,000 while raising rates to Clinton-era levels on income over $250,000 would be "another kick in the gut to the middle class in America." All those middle-class families pulling in more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. It almost goes without saying he also invoked "job creators" (who don't seem to have had trouble creating jobs with the proposed tax rates and indeed with much higher rates in the past) and "small business owners" (rich small business owners). But Romney apparently has no answer to the point made by the president Monday:
"I understand Republicans disagree with me on this, my attitude is let’s go ahead and work on the thing we agree on, which is give 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses the confidence and security that their taxes are not going up, and then we can have a good debate between now and the election over what we do for that top 2, 3 percent. I’m happy to have that debate, but no need to hold hostage Americans that need some certainty right now."
Obama has said he would veto a bill extending the tax cuts to the highest income levels, because giving rich people that tax cut would mean that "a trillion dollars would be cut out of student loan programs for kids going to college, for projects that take care of our veterans, projects that benefit our seniors." Romney, though, is prepared to campaign for that trillion dollars in cuts to kids, veterans, and seniors in order to protect millionaires and billionaires from paying the tax rates they did under President Clinton.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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