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Obama Repeats Call For Only Middle-Class Tax Cuts

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

11 July 2012

United States President Barack Obama has repeated his call for the Bush tax cuts to be renewed only for ‘middle class’ Americans, and raised the expected chorus of protests from his Republican opponents.

The President is continuing his demand that the Bush tax cuts should expire for households making more than USD250,000 in income per year. He is “calling on Congress to extend the tax cuts for the 98% of Americans who make less than USD250,000 for another year. If Congress doesn’t do this, millions of American families could see their taxes go up by USD2,200 starting on January 1 next year.”

Obama argued that the "trickle down” policy, whereby growing wealth for those at the top would lead to more jobs, higher incomes and more prosperity for all "had failed". Instead, he believes that the tax cuts for the wealthy "are a major driver of the US deficit", costing a trillion dollars over the next decade.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D - Montana), in support, added that “extending the middle-class tax cuts will provide a much-needed sense of certainty to millions of families and our economy. At the same time, we need to work to overhaul the nation’s tax code to reduce the deficit, create jobs and strengthen the economy.”

While the Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been under recent attack from the White House and Democrats as one of those “wealthiest” individuals, with demands that he should issue further tax returns, it was not surprising that the President’s call raised Republican hackles.

Dave Camp (R - Michigan), the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman, pointed out that “Republicans have called for a fairer, flatter and simpler tax code that lowers rates, gets rid of lobbyist loopholes and creates more economic growth and jobs. The President is simply calling for higher taxes on families, small businesses and investors, which will only further weaken an already fragile economy.”

“It’s not an accident that the President didn’t explain how his plan to raise taxes on small businesses will create jobs,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) protested. “In fact, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, nearly a million small businesses would feel this tax hike right away, and up to a quarter of the entire American workforce depends on these employers for a paycheck.”

“No one should see an income tax hike next year - not families, not small businesses and other job creators. We should extend all the tax rates while we make progress on fundamental tax reform.”

Orrin Hatch (R - Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, concluded that instead of “trying to pick a needless fight, the President should recognize that there is a growing bipartisan consensus to prevent all the tax hikes from hitting every tax-paying American on January 1 that could push our economy back into a full-blown recession,” and that “comprehensive tax reform should take place” during the year that the tax cuts are extended.

TAGS: individuals | tax | small business | economics | business | fiscal policy | tax rates | United States | tax reform | individual income tax

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