Former George W. Bush administration economic policy aide Keith Hennessey writes about the politics of taxes:
President Obama's emphasis on raising taxes on the rich is a relatively new phenomenon. The Clinton team placed their income inequality and tax policy emphasis on the bottom of the income spectrum – specifically, welfare reform and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. Presidents Clinton and Obama both prioritized distributional issues and taxation, but they placed their emphases at opposite ends of the income spectrum. President Clinton spent much of his legislative capital helping the poor, while President Obama is spending his trying to tax the rich.