“In proposing a 5 percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year to pay for job-creation measures sought by President Obama, Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday escalated efforts to strike a more populist tone and to draw Republicans into a confrontation over how much affluent Americans should pay to help others cope with a struggling economy,” the New York Times says. “The White House, after dismissing a similar proposal late last year, left the door open to backing the plan. ‘We are open to different ways of paying for the very important broadly supported measures in the American Jobs Act that would grow the economy and create jobs,’ said the press secretary, Jay Carney.”
President Obama’s approval rating is 41%/55%, according to a Quinnipiac poll.
“Criticism of the president has long been a staple of politics, but experts say lawmakers are becoming more extreme in their rebukes of the commander in chief,” The Hill writes. “White House scholars say that although every president has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous barbs, it has not historically been members of Congress hurling them. But more lawmakers are now doing so, and that has diminished the office of the presidency, historians say… H.W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of books on several presidents, said he is not aware of ‘mockery of the president by elected officials at the frequency that Obama has been getting it.”