WASHINGTON — President Obama is heading back out on the campaign trail this week — this time to pressure Congress to extend the expiring middle-class tax cuts.
On Friday, Obama plans to travel to Hatfield, Pa., for an event at a toy factory that according to the White House “depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season.”
Lest anyone miss the holiday spin of this public campaign, the White House issued an analysis Monday predicting how the automatic tax increases could hurt the winter shopping season. Obama is expected to mention its findings, including its estimate that the hike would put a $200-billion crimp in consumer spending in 2013.
PHOTOS: President Obama’s past
Of course, Republicans are perfectly amenable to extending the Bush-era tax cuts as a complete package. But aides to Obama are reiterating that he won’t go along with a deal that extends the cuts for high earners.
Staffers on all sides are working now to come up with an agreement that will avert the expiration of the tax cuts as well as the federal government spending cuts set to take effect the end of the year.
Just how hard Obama plans to hit the “Grinch” message at this point in the talks isn’t clear. The politics of a deal call for a delicate balance of partisan interests — no easy task so soon after the acrimonious fall campaigns.
For much of this week, the campaign will take place behind closed doors. On Tuesday Obama is scheduled to meet with small retailers whose profits depend significantly on holiday sales.