OBAMA: "Don't Raise Taxes On Them Now"

President Barack Obama pressured Republicans in Congress on Monday to extend a payroll tax cut, saying the economic recovery is "still fragile" and middle class families need the money.

"My message to Congress is this: Keep your word to the American people and don't raise taxes on them right now. Now's not the time to slam on the brakes. Now's the time to step on the gas," Obama said at the White House. He said despite a decline in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in November, "our recovery is still fragile" and the nation's economy could be hurt by economic turbulence in Europe.

The president has been seeking an extension and expansion to the payroll tax cut that will expire at the end of the year. The White House says taxes on the average family would increase by $1,000 if the cuts are not extended.

To make its point, the White House went so far as to put up a countdown clock during spokesman Jay Carney's briefing to show when middle-class taxes would go up "if Congress doesn't act."

Some Republicans in Congress support the extension but the parties have been split on how to pay for it. Obama noted that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have expressed support for the extension, adding, "I hope the rest of their Republican colleagues come around."

Brendan Buck, a Boehner spokesman, said there was widespread support for extending the payroll tax cuts but if "the president wants to make progress he should insist that Senate Democrats remove the job-killing small business tax hike from their partisan proposal."

Senate Democrats have rolled out a compromise that would drop Obama's proposal to award the tax cut to employers, bringing the cost of the plan down.

Obama also said for Congress to end its work this year without extending unemployment insurance would be a "terrible mistake" and leave "1.3 million Americans out in the cold."

The White House has called for an extension of benefits that can cover up to 99 weeks for the long-term jobless. State unemployment insurance programs guarantees coverage for six months, but Congress approved additional benefits in 2008. Expiration of those payments would mean an average loss of nearly $300 in weekly income for more than 1 million households in January.

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  • by Anonymous on Dec 10, 2011 at 02:31 AM
    he has noone but himself to blame for this OBUMMER economy...yep because the economy was doing great before Obama, want to try that one again?
  • by newport Location: newport on Dec 8, 2011 at 12:31 PM
    he has noone but himself to blame for this OBUMMER economy
  • by Anonymous on Dec 7, 2011 at 08:39 PM
    Yes we all know the Republicans just want to raise our taxes. The Democrats are the fiscal concervatives that want to reign in spending and trim the entitlement culture wrecking the country. If a lie is reoeated enough it becomes the truth doesnt it O'blameya?
  • by Anonymous on Dec 7, 2011 at 12:41 AM
    To Wolfgang, I have not heard of any rich people complain about the tax increase for them, only wanna be fools like you.
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Dec 6, 2011 at 07:25 PM
    What did Obama turn republican cut taxes. What? no money from the rich people? None yet!
  • by Obama 2012 on Dec 6, 2011 at 04:21 PM
    It is unlikely that very many Republicans would support the plan. They are too fearful of the opposition from tax-pledge guru Grover Norquist who adamantly opposes any tax increase to pay for the payroll tax cut extension. However, Republicans may not wish to mount a scorched-earth campaign against a small tax increase on the rich to pay for a tax cut for the working class if their budget-cutting strategy fails. Obama and the Democrats would have a field day ridiculing them if did so. If Republican intransigence causes the tax cut extension to fail, Obama will have a campaign issue he can ride all the way to reelection.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 6, 2011 at 04:17 PM
    The bulk of income earned by the wealthy and by small businesses is passive, such as interest, dividends and capital gains. And dividends and capital gains have been taxed at a top rate of just 15 percent since 2003. That would not be affected by the Democrats’ proposal, which would add a 3.25 percent surtax to the tax rate applying to those with adjusted gross incomes over $1 million. Moreover, there is NO EVIDENCE that the tax cuts for the Wealthy by the George W. Bush administration created any jobs, so even if they were fully repealed there is no reason to think any jobs would be lost.
  • by taxed too much on Dec 6, 2011 at 08:41 AM
    I'm tired of my taxes going to pay for welfare and prisons. Time for Obama to go!!!!
  • by To anonymous @ 1:17 am on Dec 6, 2011 at 07:15 AM
    According to Economix-The Business section of the NYTimes-tax rates are the lowest they have been in over 60 years! They do NOT figure tax rates on the wealthy by just the %-it is based on comparisons of the GNP-ie they HAVE to consider the amount of wealthy owned by the few at the top! The Bush tax cuts alone lowered them from those of Clinton. Guess when we had more jobs?
  • by nightrain on Dec 6, 2011 at 06:53 AM
    Who was president when NAFTA was signed? I'm not blaming either party, they have both been screwing over the working class for many years.

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