1:04 a.m.
Monday, 25 September 2017

Obama urges Congress to extend the middle class income tax cuts

El Centro, California.- President Obama urges Congress to extend the middle class income tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses without delay, making it clear that a balanced approach to deficit reduction means that Republicans in Congress must agree to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates, said presidente Barack Obama.

In a televised message, Obama said the following:

"Right now, middle-class tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. Time is running out. And there are two things that can happen.

"First, if Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. A typical middle-class family of four would get a $2,200 tax hike. That would be bad for families, it would be bad for businesses, and it would drag down our entire economy.

"Now, Congress can avoid all this by passing a law that prevents a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. That means 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime. Even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. And families everywhere would enjoy some peace of mind.

"The Senate has already done their part. Now we’re just waiting for Republicans in the House to do the same thing. But so far, they’ve put forward an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans. If we want to protect the middle class, then the math just doesn’t work.

"We can and should do more than just extend middle class tax cuts. I stand ready to work with Republicans on a plan that spurs economic growth, creates jobs and reduces our deficit – a plan that gives both sides some of what they want. I’m willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other Americans who depend on it. And I’m willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts I signed into law last year".

The Obama administration will entertain any Republican plans to avoid a so-called "fiscal cliff" at year's end, but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the Bush-era tax cuts for top incomes must go.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" and other Sunday talk shows, Geithner said he's optimistic that the administration can reach a deal with Congress to avert a one-two punch budget analysts say could throw the U.S. economy back into a recession. But he added, "What we're not going to do is extend those tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."

"Those cost $1 trillion over 10 years," Geithner told CNN. "And there's no possibility that we're going to find a way to get our fiscal house in order without those tax rates going back up."

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