On Monday, President Barack Obama went to a campaign-style rally in Michigan and attempted to put pressure on Congressional Republicans to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 and railed against Michigan’s recently-passed right-to-work legislation.
Obama, instead of negotiating with Congressional Republicans on a budget deal, called the bill that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) may sign into law this week the beginning of a “race to the bottom.”
“If Congress doesn’t act soon, everyone’s going to see their income taxes go up,” Obama said. “”We can solve this problem — all Congress needs to do is prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.”
Obama has insisted he will not sign a budget deal that does not raise taxes on those making more than $250,000. The president has indicated that he may even veto his own plans for tax increases if Congress does not give him unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional approval.
Last week, Michigan’s House passed a right-to-work law. Michigan’s Senate had passed its own version earlier, and lawmakers will reconcile the pieces of legislation this week.
Obama said those laws will give Michigan workers “the right to work for less money” and said Michigan legislators should not be trying to “take away your rights to bargain for better wages or working conditions.”
Going back to the fiscal cliff negotiations, Obama said “98% of Americans will not see income taxes go up a single dime” and insisted he would “work with Republicans on a plan for economic growth.” Republicans have accused Obama of being “distant” in negotiations, accusing the president of wanting to see the country go over the so-called fiscal cliff for political gain.
Even though Obama and Democrats have not put forth serious proposals to structurally reform entitlements or reduce spending, Obama said he wanted to negotiate in a “balanced” and “responsible” manner.
Obama’s initial offer to avert the fiscal cliff included $1.6 trillion in tax increases, a new round of stimulus projects, and unprecedented powers for him to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without Congressional approval.
Republicans rejected the plan, but Obama couldn’t even get the support of his own party for his initial offer.