Asks Congress to extend tax benefits to the middle class, find ways to cut deficit and strengthen economy
A day after his “constructive” meeting with Congressional leaders on finding ways to reduce deficit and strengthen the economy, US president Barack Obama on Friday asked the Congress to “act now” and extend the middle class tax benefits. In his weekly address, Obama said Congress should act now on one thing that everyone agrees on — ensuring that taxes do not go up on 98% of all Americans and 97% of small businesses at the end of the year.
“On Friday I sat down with Congressional leaders to discuss how we can reduce our deficit in a way that strengthens our economy and protects our middle class. It was a constructive meeting. And everyone agreed that while we may have our differences, we need to come together, find solutions and take action as soon as possible,” he said.
Obama said that four years after the worst economic crisis, the American economy is growing again and creating jobs. “But we have much more to do. Our task now is to build on that progress. Because this nation only succeeds when we’ve got a growing, thriving middle class,” he said. “That's what drives me. That’s what I campaigned on for the past year. That's what will guide me in our work over the next four years. And I’m willing to work with anyone of any party to move this country forward,” he said. “Because soon, we face a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs and taxes, on investments and deficits. Both parties voted to set this deadline. I believe both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way”
When it comes to taxes, for example, there are two pathways available, Obama said. “One says, if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, then everybody’s taxes automatically go up, including the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year. Our economy can’t afford that right now... And nobody wants that to happen.”
“The other path is for Congress to pass a law right away to prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of anyone’s income. That means all Americans, including the wealthiest Americans, get a tax cut. And 98% of Americans, and 97%of all small business owners, won’t see