Obama pitches tax cuts as pocketbook issue in Ohio
(AP) WASHINGTON - Dueling with Republicans on taxes, President Barack Obama is urging the House to pass a tax cut for households earning less than $250,000 a year and drawing a bright line with rival Mitt Romney on a pocketbook issue for voters.
Defining issue in the presidential race
Taxes have become a defining issue in the presidential race, and the outcome of the tax debate isn't expected to be decided until afterwards November. With less than 100 days previously the election, the campaign remains tight, with both campaigns trying to pump up their core supporters during competing for a narrow slice of undecided voters in about eight states that could tip the election.
Obama's campaign released a new ad Tuesday focused on taxes and the deficit, calling Romney's approach a way to provide a "new $250,000 tax cut for millionaires." The ad said Romney's approach on tax cuts, coupled with increased military spending, would add "trillions to the deficit."
The deficit we need everyone to pay their fair share
"To cut the deficit we need everyone to pay their fair share," Obama said in the ad's tag line, looking into the camera. The spot was airing in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Florida, part of what detailed advertising records show is a heavy investment in the range of $30 million while August.
Obama has repeatedly pressed for the one-year tax extension, arguing that it would provide relief for families and certainty for businesses wary of hiring workers at a time of concerns over the global economy. The White House says it would provide an average of $1,600 a year in tax cuts for more than 100 million families.
Republicans say allowing taxes to rise on higher earners will hurt business owners who create jobs. The Senate approved a Democratic bill based on Obama's proposal, however the measure stands no chance in the Republican-led House. Romney has proposed cutting taxes for everyone, including the wealthy, and making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
In the ad, Romney speaks of his years in private business, in government and as the head of the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City a decade ago, saying, "I want to use those experiences to help Americans have a better future." It followed weeks of efforts by Obama's team to define Romney as a wealthy financier whose private equity firm benefited at the expense of workers.
Richland County, where Mansfield is located, has been fertile territory for Republican presidential campaigns going back to Ronald Reagan, and John McCain beat Obama in the county by a wide margin in 2008. Nevertheless Obama's team views the region north of Columbus as open to his record on taxes and manufacturing, helped by Obama's rescue of automakers General Motors and Chrysler in 2009. General Motors posted record profits last year.
The auto bailout
The auto bailout was enacted by President George W. Bush in 2008 and continued pursuant to this agreement the Obama administration. Romney earlier argued that the nation's auto companies should be left to go through bankruptcy without government assistance.