At a fundraiser in New York City Tuesday, President Barack Obama fired back at Republicans who have called his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy “class warfare.”

“You already hear the Republicans in Congress dusting off the old talking points,” the president told a crowd of 400 supporters at Gotham Hall. “You can write their press releases. Class warfare, they say.”

“You know what? If asking a billionaire to pay the same rate as a plumber or a teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I wear that charge as a badge of honor.”

Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough praised the president’s line of attack Wednesday.

“I think that’s a good line,” he opined. “The Republicans are just not very smart allowing him to get these body blows in on them. They need to dive in a support tax reform.”

“How much do you think everybody at GE wishes they would have paid a little bit of taxes last year? No, I’m serious. Whatever money they saved — this a great lesson for corporations — whatever money they saved, they lost in good will. This is a nightmare for General Electric’s PR people… But since GE owns 40 percent of this company, I suspect I’m the only one to expound on it.”

On Monday, Obama had introduced his plan to trim the deficit, including a “Buffett rule” — named after billionaire Warren Buffett — which would ensure that people making over $1 million a year would pay a tax rate as high as the people that work for them.

“Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount, by $4 trillion. So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal? Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes or we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare. We can’t afford to do both. Either we gut education and medical research or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get. We can’t afford to do both. This is not class warfare; it’s math.”

Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Sept. 21, 2011.


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