Obama urges immediate tax cut extension for middle class



US President Barack Obama. AFP

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama urged Congress Saturday to immediately extend a tax cut for middle class Americans, arguing the move will give 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses certainty that will lead to faster economic growth.

“Congress can do that right now. They can give families like yours a sense of security going into the New Year,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

The president made the comments one day after he traveled to a toy factory in Pennsylvania to press his case for a plan to stop the US economy tipping off the so-called fiscal cliff, when automatic tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts come into force on January 1.

Republicans have rejected Obama’s first offer to end the stalemate surrounding the matter as “ridiculous” and negotiations between the two sides have hit a roadblock with just a month to go, punctuated by the holiday season, until the deadline.

Top Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, has warned that talks on averting a year-end tax and spending crunch, which could tip the economy back into recession, are going nowhere.

The showdown is a crucial test for newly re-elected Obama in gridlocked Washington, with implications for his capacity to enact an ambitious second term agenda.

Obama campaigned on raising taxes on households earning $250,000 a year or more to pay for deficit reductions and to fund education spending and other plans to boost the economy and improve life for the nation’s middle class.

But congressional Republicans have opposed tax increases of any kind.

In his address, the president said it was “unacceptable” for Republicans to “hold middle class tax cuts hostage” because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans.

But he suggested that Congress, as a first step, do what both parties agree on and pass a bill that would keep middle class taxes low.

Obama said the Senate had already passed such a measure, and that Democrats in the House were ready to do the same.

“And if we can just get a few House Republicans on board, I’ll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way,” the president promised.

However, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said in a weekly Republican address that comprehensive tax reform and reducing the unsustainable debt were crucial to fixing the “fiscal cliff” problem.

“The President has said he wants a so-called balanced approach to solve this crisis,” he said. “But what he proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the American people — a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on, billions of dollars in new stimulus spending and an unlimited, unchecked authority to borrow from the Chinese.”

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  • Marx Louis Wang

    Did you read that? unchecked borrowing from the Chinese. That is the reason why China is forcing their laborers on accepting very low wage from companies owned by the US and who is happy? The American owner of the company for gaining huge profit and the communist leaders in China who live in luxurious life. Having more industries put up in China without concern on their environment is posing a huge problem now and much worse in the near future. While in the US, infighting within the Democrats and Republicans about borrowing from China, assures China the courage to go on with its ambitions to control surrounding countries. Devastation of China’s fast deteriorating environment and unknown solution to USA’ s debt crisis equals a no win-win situation for both of them.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EXFI4EUGM23PQ4FMQKLVH36OXI Jose

      Because Orrin Hatch is credible.

      Seriously, no.  Just no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Craig-J-Townsend/100003945426141 Craig J. Townsend

    Emotive but not quite factual. The entire economic system
    adopted by the western socialist democracies is predicated on inflation. Their
    central banks must sell debt in order to print more currency. In order to sell more
    debt you have to have willing buyers flush with your nations currency, thus the
    need to export dollars and import goods.  Under Nixon the ponzi scheme was extended to
    OPEC to be the buyer of US debt, while America brought its domestic oil
    production to a halt so that more oil from abroad would be purchased.  By the 1980s inflation had exponentially
    outgrown oil imports, so a new debt mechanism was needed, so the Free trade agreements
    and the trade with China got going. China now holds a vast majority of US debt.
    Inflation, the increasing of the money supply causes all prices to soar, a
    greater gap between rich and poor and every economic problem the west and the Philippines
    has. This economic system is what is unsustainable as once there are no more
    buyers of a nations debt, the scheme collapses. Technologically advancing production
    is what brings down prices naturally, deflation is the savior of humanity, the
    present inflationary system fights all deflation.

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