TRI-STATE - The national debate over extending the "Bush-Era" tax credits is coming to a head. More questions are being raised after Senate Democrats block a vote on president Obama's plan.
The debate boils down to this: the White House wants to extend those tax credits for another year. But under the president's plan, those credits would only be available to households making less than $250,000 a year; and that's where Republicans say the problem lies.
Tom Kazee, president of the University of Evansville and a political contributor, says "The Clinton campaign said, 'It's the economy, stupid.' Well, that's still true today."
And he's right. An ABC / Washington Post poll recently revealed 89% of registered voters say the economy is important to their vote.
Kazee explains, "Republicans are saying we need to keep taxes low because that promotes economic activity, it's good for the country as a whole. The Democrats are saying, 'Yes, but is it really reasonable to argue that anybody who's making $250,000 or more shouldn't pay more in taxes?"
Back in 2010, president Obama and Congress came together to extend the Bush-Era tax breaks: but if Congress doesn't act now, it's set to expire on January 1st. And Parke says the worst the president can do now is nothing.
"Some of the tax-payers are going to be happy, on the other hand, the real need for our country is to get our economy moving and it's those people who have money that turn around and want to invest it."
According to Democratic Party Chair Mark Owen, "We're supportive of the tax cuts of the middle class, but not the tax cuts for the higher income and the rich."
With both local party chairs say the economy will likely be the deciding factor when voters head to the polls this November -- the tax break issue is just one small part of a much bigger problem. A problem that's sure to make this an interesting fight leading up to this year's general election.
CONTINUING COVERAGE FROM ABC NEWS: