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Published: Friday, 12/7/2012

Group wants Portman to agree to raising taxes of wealthy Americans

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

A group protested in front of the Toledo office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) today calling on him to agree to raising taxes on wealthy Americans as advocated by President Barack Obama.

Calling themselves "The Action," the group of about a dozen liberal activists and Democrats said Republican lawmakers should respect the choice the public made by re-electing Mr. Obama on Nov. 6. 

"As we're struggling to overcome the fiscal cliff we're calling on Republicans to get with the program and get with what the majority of Americans believe," said Democratic Toledo City Council President Joe McNamara, a possible 2013 candidate for mayor. "It is the responsible and the right thing to do."

During the campaign and since then, President Obama has proposed a deficit reduction plan that includes an increase in the tax rates charged on family incomes above $250,000 from 35 percent now to 39.6 percent.

Democratic Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz said, "we're just talking about a return to the tax rates we used to have in this country under President Clinton when the economy was growing." He called Mr. Obama's re-election victory "a pretty substantial victory for fairness in the tax code."

President Obama has demanded that Republicans agree to the higher rate for top earners as part of a deficit-reduction agreement that would avoid the so-called fiscal cliff on Jan. 1. That's when automatic legislation would take effect repealing all the tax cuts from 2001-2003 and instituting cuts in military and domestic budgets.

Portman spokesman Caitlin Dunn said that President Obama proposed the same size tax increase, $1.6 trillion, in his budget last year but that it did not receive a single vote in Congress.

“Going over the fiscal cliff and raising $500 billion in taxes is bad news for American families, and several nonpartisan groups have reported it will drive us into another recession," Ms. Dunn said. She said Mr. Portman supports addressing the root causes of the slow economy - an inefficient tax code and unsustaintable entitlement programs.

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