Obama recently said that he would fight to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class only for one more year. This would mean a tax increase on anyone making over 250K/year. As you might imagine, there's been a lot said about this announcement.
For one thing, Liberals are pretty happy. They see this as Obama drawing a line in the sand. To them, it means that middle class will have more purchasing power while the wealthy pay their fair share. Win-Win. They see this as further evidence that Obama can still be a staunch Democrat and can hold to his ideals if he's pushed.
Republicans, on the other hand, are not. They see this as a tax increase on "job creators" and as "punishing success." They believe that the tax cuts should be made permanent across the board, setting us up with a new top tax rate cap that can never be broken. They see this as being a disastrous move for the economy, and see it as Obama playing partisan politcs with the economy.
Finally, the nut-job Conservative groups see this as a violation of all that America stands for. They believe that, since Obama is a Marxist/Socialist/Fascist/Communist/Etc..ist, that whatever he advocates for is bad. Therefore, this is bad. To them, the solution is to cut everyone's taxes to as close to nothing as possible, and kill the government's ability to do anything. That is true liberty.
Here's the thing. Extending middle class tax cuts is a popular move. Refusing to extend tax cuts for the wealthy is a calculated risk. Obama has to know that he's not making any friends in the wealthy circles, but I think he's banking on people being pleased with his keeping their income taxes low. He wants people to look at their own situations, not those of people the idolize, and make their minds up from that.
The problem is, not everyone does that. There is no reason for a middle class person to demand that the wealthy receive a tax cut. There's no sense to that. You could argue, I suppose, that tax cuts at the top help the economy, but that has been debunked so many times that anyone continuing to believe it is either deliberately ignorant or deliberately deceptive. In fact, high taxes at the top helps people by giving the government what it needs to do its job. Without that tax revenue, governments are forced to cut programs that help the poor. So, really, higher taxes on the wealthy help the poor and middle classes more than tax cuts.