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Government and Politics

President Obama talks taxes in Akron
The Democrat says there are two visions of middle class taxes
This story is part of a special series.

Mark Urycki
Courtesy of Romulus Mihalteanu
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In The Region:

President Barack Obama swung through Ohio for a couple of campaign rallies yesterday,  his third trip to Ohio in less than a month.

And once again, he focused on the economy.

 In both Mansfield and in Akron the President told crowds that his tax policy would be better for the middle class and for the American economy than Mitt Romney’s. WKSU’s Mark Urycki has details.

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The crowd waiting to see the president came early and stood for hours in the John S. Knight Convention Center hall in downtown Akron.  The optimism that these Democrats had four years ago has been tempered by Mr. Obama’s tendency to compromise with conservatives. But the complaint we heard again and again is that the conservatives have not met the president half way.

Mr. Obama agreed with the crowd, saying what’s standing in the way of a better economy is not the lack of good ideas but politics.

"We’ve got a stalemate in Washington.  We’ve got Republicans in Congress who have clung to the view, the uncompromising view, that the only way to move ahead is to go back to the same tired solutions that got us into this mess in the first place.”   

While the president was speaking in Akron, House Republicans were in Washington passing  a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts, including cuts for wealthy people.  Mr. Obama has called for tax cuts to be extended for the middle class, but not for the wealthy.   So he says he would veto the House bill if it got that far.

Who would pay for a tax cut?
Meanwhile, his campaign yesterday pointed to a new report analyzing Mitt Romney’s proposed $5 trillion tax cut plan. The non-partisan group called The Tax Policy Center found this week that tax cuts geared toward the wealthy would increase taxes for the  average middle class family in Ohio by $2,200

Many in the Akron crowd were holding signs that said “Forward,” but the president suggested that -- at least for those who make more than $250,000 a year – the nation would be going back to the 1990’s.   

“And if you remember, that was when the economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history , and here’s the kicker – it was good for folks at the top too.”

The president said that would allow enough money to repair airports and roads and provide tax breaks for healthcare and college tuition.

Republicans argue that tax cuts for the wealthy will allow them to create jobs; Democrats say breaks aimed at the middle class will spur consumer demand. One they'll likely agree on is that tax policy is the debate in this year’s campaign. 

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