In Scranton, PA today, President Obama blasted Republican Grinches who want to raise taxes on working Americans while throwing millions more off unemployment insurance.
Here’s the video:
The president said, “They may have voted no on these tax cuts once, but I’ll tell you what Scranton, they may have voted no on these tax cuts once, but I’m already filled with the Christmas spirit. There’s kind of some chill in the air, saw some Christmas decorations at the Festus, so I’m in the Christmas spirit, I want to give them another chance to redeem themselves. We’re going to give them another chance so as early as Friday, this Friday, in a couple days. We’re going to give them a chance to take a simple vote on these tax cuts. If they vote no, then the typical family’s taxes will go up by a thousand dollars next year. If they vote yes then the typical family will have an extra fifteen hundred dollars in their pocket. So let’s just be clear. If they vote no, your taxes go up. Vote yes, you get a tax cut. Which way do you think Congress should vote?”
Obama later continued with the holiday theme, “To everybody who is here, to everybody who is watching, send your senators a message tell them don’t be a Grinch. Don’t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays. Make sure to renew unemployment insurance during the holidays. Stop saying no to steps that would make our economy stronger. Put our country before party. Put money back into the pockets of working Americans. Do your job. Pass this bill.”
What a difference a year makes. Last year it was the Republican Party that used Christmas as a weapon against the president as they held unemployment benefits hostage in exchange for an extension of the Bush tax cuts. This year, it is the president who using the holiday season to put pressure on vulnerable congressional incumbents in order to get unemployment insurance extended. Many congressional Republicans might be more than happy to throw two million Americans into dire poverty this holiday season, but it would not be a wise move for a party that wishes to win the White House next year to raise taxes and impoverish millions over the holidays.
Obama also delivered his message in the simplest way possible. If Republicans vote no taxes for millions of Americans will go up. If they vote yes, millions of working Americans will have an extra $1,500 next year. It really doesn’t get an easier than that. The ideological far left was outraged last year that Obama would extend the Bush tax cuts, but what they didn’t see is the damage that would have been done to both this president and the Democratic Party if Obama would have taken a stand that would have gravely damaged millions of Americans over the holidays.
This year the GOP has no Christmas hostage to threaten, so the pressure is on them. They can raise taxes on working class Americans and ruin the holidays for millions, or they can show the nation how much they really value their ideology and put electoral politics first. Either way, Obama is likely to keep up the political pressure through the holiday season.
No one is asking Mitch McConnell and John Boehner’s hearts to grow ten sizes overnight, but America will not forgive them or their party if they raise taxes and let the unemployed plunge deeper into poverty this holiday season.