Even before President Obama began his State of the Union address at 9:00, word was spreading fast that he would take the opportunity to denounce the two-year extension of extending tax cuts for higher income-earners–something that he himself had signed into law in December (albeit reluctantly) as part of the compromise tax package.
If the President sought to outrage the Republican House freshman with this position, he succeeded. As Mr. Obama commenced his remarks with calls for civility and bipartisanship, he was also clearly upsetting the lawmakers who were elected last year and now comprise more than one third of the Republican majority in the House.
“If he dislikes the tax cut extension so much, then why did he sign it?” said Rep. David Schweickert (R-Ariz) as he walked from his office to the U.S. Capitol for the President’s address, “You know why he’s doing it, don’t you? His left-wing base has been going bonkers with all these reports of Obama moving to the center. Repealing it has no chance of passage, none at all, so he’s saying it to please his base.”
Freshman Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA echoed these remarks, telling HUMAN EVENTS: “I’m very disappointed the President is denouncing the very deal he designed. He’s introducing class warfare into politics once again, and sending inconsistent signals to those who create the jobs that will put people back to work.”
Other freshman lawmakers were harsher. Illinois’s Rep. Joe Walsh called early reports of Obama’s attacks on the tax cut extension “Disgraceful” and added the attacks “reveal him to be an empty, cynical vessel determined to destroy the American free enterprise systyem.”
Indiana’s Rep. Todd Rokita told HUMAN EVENTS: “Class warfare is not the answer. Ayn Rand articulated this best: ‘You break the back of our most productive citizens, the standard of living across the board goes down. And for those most productive citizens who say they are not taxed enough and taht we should all be tax more, I say ‘let your rich guilt complex speak for yourself and donate all you want to the government, but leave the rest of us alone.'”