By Sam Youngman -The Hill
President Obama demanded on Monday that Congress pay for his $447 billion jobs bill with higher taxes on the rich and businesses.
The tax proposals, which have all previously been advocated by Obama, underline the White Houseâ€™s political agenda for the fall, which increasingly is focused on setting up congressional Republicans as foils on the economy during the 2012 presidential race.
Few, if any, of the proposed tax hikes have any chance of being approved by the Republican-held House, but they all could help the White House frame the GOP as protecting Wall Street money mangers and corporate interests at the expense of the middle class.
At the same time, the attacks on the rich open Obama up to new charges of class warfare, not only from Congress, but from the Republicans campaigning to replace him.
â€œThe president is asking Congress to make choices,â€ White House press secretary Jay Carney said at his briefing, where Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew laid out $467 billion in higher taxes.
Obama did not mention any of the tax hikes in his own appearance Monday at the Rose Garden, where he implored Congress to approve the jobs bill he presented last week.
â€œThis is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country,â€ Obama said, holding up the bill while surrounded by teachers, construction workers and first responders he said would be helped by it.
â€œThis is the bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis,â€ he continued. â€œNo games. No politics. No delays. Iâ€™m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately.â€
The chief provision announced by Lew would limit itemized deductions for individuals who make more than $200,000 a year and families that make more than $250,000. Lew said the proposal, previously included in White House budget proposals, would raise about $400 billion, a higher estimate than the administration has previously offered for the provision.
The White House also targeted hedge fund managers, owners of corporate jets and oil and gas companies for higher taxes.
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