President Obama greets guests in the East Room of the White House after announcing… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)
President Obama plans to talk about his plan to build an American economy “from the middle out, not the top down” as he heads to Iowa to campaign Tuesday, according to campaign officials.
The message comes fresh after the president’s two-pronged announcement on the Bush-era tax cuts: Obama is asking Congress to extend the ones for the middle class and pledging to veto any attempt to extend the full range of cuts.
Republican Mitt Romney is expected to take his argument – that Obama’s plans will hurt job creators and the economy broadly – to a town hall in Grand Junction, Colorado this morning.
The campaign day unfolds as a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows a deadlocked race. Romney and Obama are tied at 47% among registered voters, which is essentially where they stood in late May, the Post reports.
Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks at a grassroots event Tuesday at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. He will talk about his plan to reform the tax system in a way that will “restore middle-class security and pay down our deficits in a balanced way,” according to a campaign release.
Obama also carries the message he laid out in a White House announcement Monday, in which he called on Congress to extend the middle-class tax cuts for a year while the two sides sort out what to do about the rest.
But in a round of interviews with local television stations from around the country, Obama vowed to veto any bill that extends the cuts across the board, for families earning more than $250,000 a year or more.
What if Congress were to extend those cuts for everyone, including the wealthy, asked reporter Karen Swenson, of the New Orleans station WWL-TV.
“I would veto it,” Obama said. To extend tax breaks for the top 2% of wealthiest Americans, he said, “would cost us $1 trillion over the next decade.”
Thus, the matter is mostly a rhetorical point for Obama and Romney to discuss. Republicans have no intention of giving up the middle-class tax cuts, the only leverage they have to push for the full extension.