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President Obama defends taxing the rich at town hall


President Obama defends taxing the rich at town hall

Adam Russett September 27, 2011

President Barack Obama continued to tout his deficit reduction plan at a town hall-style meeting hosted by the social networking website LinkedIn on Monday. Obama fielded questions from concerned voters on a variety of topics, but most centered on the economy and a stubbornly high unemployment rate, the Associated Press reports.

At the center of Obama's deficit reduction proposal is a provision that would generate more revenue by raising the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans by a relatively small percentage. Though it would go a long way toward curing the country's economic woes, as well as cover the cost of his proposed job plan, his efforts have been stymied by Republicans in Congress. He told members of the LinkedIn audience that his tax plan would only move the rates to the level under Bill Clinton in '90s.

"During that period, the rich got richer," Obama told the audience, according to the AP. "The middle class expanded. People rose out of poverty."

Taxes was not the only topic of discussion, however. The growing crisis in Europe was also touched on, and Obama said that the European Union needs to act more quickly to prevent a global economic scare.

The event signals a change in tone for Obama, who has been more aggressive in recent weeks as he gears up for the 2012 election. The stop was just one of several throughout the West Coast that will include a number of fundraisers.

Although his approval rating dropped over the summer, it hasn't hurt Obama's fundraising prowess. According to Reuters, in a pair of events in San Diego and Seattle over the weekend, the president raised around $5 million, and his campaign says that he is on track to have one million separate donors.