Obama Touts Tax Hike for ‘Top 1, 2 Percent’ – ‘Folks Like Me’

By Fred Lucas | October 19, 2011 | 11:12 AM EDT

President Barack Obama speaks at the Greensville County High School in Emporia, Va, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011. Obama is on a three-day bus tour promoting the American Jobs Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) – Pushing his “jobs” bill in Virginia Tuesday, President Barack Obama pressed his case for raising taxes on high earners – putting himself in the top 1 or 2 percent of earners compared with “you” in the audience.

“We’re going to ask the Senate to pay for it (the jobs bill) by making sure that folks like me are paying their fair share, and if I’m paying my fair share, then you get a tax cut or a tax break,” Obama told an audience at Greensville County High School in Emporia, Va., near the North Carolina border.

At one point, Obama’s wording echoed the chants of the “Occupy” protesters, who present themselves as the “99 percent” versus the wealthy “one percent.”

“[P]eople like me can afford to pay a little bit more,” the president said. "Now understand, we’re talking about the top 1, 2 percent of people at the very top of the income scales. And we can afford it. We don’t need a tax cut. We didn’t ask for a tax break. You got corporations who are getting special deals on their tax codes. They don’t need a special deal. Let’s give a good deal to hardworking men and women who are out there struggling to make ends meet.”

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Obama warned that if his jobs plan does not pass, the average taxpayer will pay more.

“There’s been a lot of misleading information about this, so let me just be perfectly clear here. Let me be painfully clear,” Obama said. “Just in case anybody asks you about it, what we are proposing is that the payroll tax cut that we passed in December gets extended, gets expanded, and that will mean an extra $1,500 in your pocket compared to if we do nothing.”

Obama’s $447-billion jobs bill – aimed at creating jobs for union workers such as teachers, police, firefighters and construction workers -- failed last week in the Democrat-led Senate, but Democrats will now try to pass it piece by piece.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans say the jobs bill is a second “stimulus” in disguise. Raising taxes on wealth creators, including small business owners, would be counterproductive, McConnell says.

“It’s completely preposterous for the president to be riding around on a bus saying we should raise taxes on the very folks who create jobs,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “Think about that. We’ve got 14 million out of work and two self-identified conservatives for every liberal in this country, and the president’s out there doing his best Howard Dean impersonation. He’s completely out of touch. Let’s forget about the tax hikes. Let’s drop the talking points about millionaires and billionaires and let’s work together on bipartisan jobs legislation that is designed to pass, not designed to fail.”

Howard Dean, a former Vermont governor, presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee chairman, is known for his overheated ideological rhetoric.

Obama is on the third and final day of his taxpayer-funded bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia, states he won in 2008 but isn’t so sure of winning in 2012.

The White House insists this is not a campaign trip, even though it looks just like one -- and the president has even mentioned the 2012 election.

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