Hatch and Obama trade barbs over taxing middle class

President decries 'hostage' tactic; Utah senator lambasts him

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 11:53 p.m. MST

President Barack Obama greets the crowd after speaking at The Rodon Group manufacturing facility, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, in Hatfield, Pa. Obama spoke at the toy company about how middle class Americans would see their taxes go up if Congress fails to act to extend the middle class tax cuts. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Matt Slocum, AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says it's unacceptable for some congressional Republicans to "hold middle-class tax cuts hostage" because they don't want tax rates to rise on the wealthy.

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama says the average middle-class family of four could pay $2,200 more in taxes next year after the fiscal cliff. He says Republicans could give families "a sense of security going into the New Year" by extending tax cuts for the middle class.

In the Republican address, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch accuses Obama of a "classic bait-and-switch on the American people" amounting to a tax increase twice the size of what he campaigned on.

Hatch says Democrats are pushing what he calls a disastrous strategy.

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