Bill Kristol: GOP Runs ‘Real Risk’ Of ‘Looking As If They Don’t Care About The Middle Class’

On Fox News Sunday, The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol said he worried that Republicans — given the current state of fiscal cliff negotiations — “are in the position of looking as if they don’t care about the middle class.” Specifically, Kristol was referring to the issue of tax cuts for the wealthy, which Republicans have wanted to keep in place.

“The Republicans are in real risk, in my view now, of looking like they’re defending keeping the current tax rates for the wealthy — the Bush tax rates for the wealthy — and right now the official Republican position is, let the payroll tax rate go back up by two points,” Kristol said. “That is a two percentage point increase on every American, but it’s a marginal — Republicans care about marginal rates — it’s a marginal increase on everyone making less than a $100,000 a year.”

Republicans under President Obama can “sit here and say, ‘He’s overreaching,’ ‘It’s too much,'” he added — but “the end of the day, President Obama is selling a very simple message, ‘I want to keep taxes low for middle class Americans.'”

“And Republicans look like, I’m worried, are in the position of looking as if they don’t care about the middle class and just want to keep tax rates low for wealthy Americans,” Kristol said.

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