In fact, Chris Matthews and others claimed, Republicans made the Bush tax cuts expire on purpose, specifically so that they could later accuse the Democrats of raising taxes when the Democrats tried to let them expire. You follow that? The claim is actually rather astonishing, in that it would require that the Republicans knew that the Democrats would be in power when the Bush tax cuts expired, which is taking the “reading of political tea leaves” to a rather ridiculous extreme.
Then Obama comes along and gets a “payroll tax cut” passed and, guess what; it has an expiration date. How many people are surprised, now, when President Obama accuses the Republicans of raising taxes when the Republicans want to let the “Obama payroll tax cut” expire?
"This payroll tax is set to expire at the end of next month. ... If we allow that to happen, if Congress refuses to act, then middle-class families are going to get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time," Obama said. "We can't let that happen, not right now."
(Emphasis mine) Indeed, we cannot let the Republicans “hit the public with a tax increase.” Give me a break.