Obama promotes tax agenda, US Congress in stand-off
At the White House, small business leaders emerged from a one-hour meeting with Obama to voice support for his goal of extending low tax rates for the middle class beyond the end of the year, while letting rates rise for wealthier taxpayers.
The business owners urged Obama to fight to keep the middle-class tax cuts, said Lew Prince, co-founder of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis, Mo.
What grows jobs in America is consumers spending money, and the average person needs that two or three thousand dollars a year in his pocket to help drive the economy, Prince told reporters at the White House.
Republicans want to extend low tax rates - enacted a decade ago under the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush - for all taxpayers, including households earning more than $250,000 a year.
Raising tax rates on the wealthy would discourage investment and hiring at a time of high unemployment, Republicans say.
Congressional Democrats allied with the president showed no sign of backing down from his stance on raising taxes for the wealthy. But both sides have softened on some long-held positions: Republicans have been showing a willingness to consider new revenue increases while Democrats have relaxed their hard line against new savings to the costly government-run Medicare and Medicaid healthcare
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