Earlier today, it was widely reported that President Obama is meeting with a "middle-class" family to use them as a prop for his push to raise taxes on the wealthy. That family has now been identified on the White House blog:
Last week, President Obama called on Americans to speak out about what a $2,000 tax hike next year would mean for them and their families – and thousands of people from around the country are doing just that.
We’ve heard from more than 370,000 people in all 50 states, and many say that paying $2,000 more in taxes would force families to make some tough choices about their household budgets. For some, it might mean deciding whether to buy groceries or fill a prescription. For others, it would be the difference in making rent or paying tuition.
Tiffany, who lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, seven-year old son, and parents, is one of the many people who wrote in. The “picture of the 21st middle class,” her family decided on their multi-generation blended living situation to save money and spend more time together.
But with two sets of working adults – a teacher and an auto industry worker, and a child-care provider and postal worker –Tiffany said that her household would be doubly affected by a tax hike. And as a family of budding entrepreneurs, they would have less money to get their new businesses off the ground.
Today, President Obama will meet Tiffany and her family in their home, to talk more about how why it’s so important for Congress to pass the middle-class tax cuts before the end of the year, both for families like hers and our economy.
Before he arrives, get to know Tiffany and her family, and hear her talk in her own words about what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to them.
Now, of course, props are common for politicians. President Bush traveled with his mother to talk about Social Security reform. Former Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) brought a baby, Maggie, to the House floor during a one-minute speech. And there is the famous "kissing babies" all politicians must do.
However, visiting Tiffany's family seems like a stretch for the President. First, Tiffany's family lives in the suburbs around Washington, D.C. We are not told what their income is as a family, but we are informed they are a middle-class family. As a former native of New Hampshire, I know a family lives modestly well on a middle-class income. Given that the D.C. Metro area is the wealthiest region in America, and has held that position for multiple years thanks to an increase in the number of federal employees, lobbyists, and other people sucking off the teat of the taxpayer in the last couple of years, it strikes me that some of the financial difficulties Tiffany's family faces is at least partially a direct result of President Obama's policies.
Speaking of the Obama policies, how about that economy? The jobs report isn't likely to be all that hot, again thanks to the President's policies.
Third, the $2,000 tax hike the President is referring to -- the one that will devastate Tiffany's family -- is nothing compared to the $142,000 debt each person in her family has to face, thanks in part to President Obama's massive expansion of spending and the continuously poor economy.
Lastly, as I noted last night at Hot Air, the President has pretty poor priorities. He's willing to hold 98% of taxpayers hostage for an increase in taxes that will cover less than 2% of projected spending over the next decade, and do nothing for the $61 trillion in long-term debts, liabilities, and obligations Tiffany's son's generaiton will face as it ages. Never mind that Republicans have already offered at least two plans -- including a budget, a rarity in Democratic Party circles these days -- that would keep tax rates constant for the middle-class. The GOP's plans are woefully inadequate, especially the latest one, but they are plans that prevent Tiffany's family from seeing a $2,000 tax hike. I guess the President's care for the middle-class ends when political gain is around the corner.
Now, this emotional tug at the heart strings of Americans may garner more support for the President's tax hike proposal. It may not. But in the end, nothing replaces good policy for the fiscal future of America -- even if it doesn't sell as well as a multi-generational middle-class family.