News / USA

Obama, Republicans Clash Over Tax Proposal

President Barack Obama waves at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland, Ohio during his Betting On America campaign tour, July 6, 2012.President Barack Obama waves at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland, Ohio during his Betting On America campaign tour, July 6, 2012.
x
President Barack Obama waves at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland, Ohio during his Betting On America campaign tour, July 6, 2012.
President Barack Obama waves at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland, Ohio during his Betting On America campaign tour, July 6, 2012.
WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama on Monday called on Congress to approve a one year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 per year, a proposal that has been rejected by congressional Republicans and likely Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Obama's challenge to Congress came as Republicans seek an extension of all cuts for middle and upper-income Americans made under Obama's predecessor George W. Bush.

As Obama campaigns for reelection, he is emphasizing what he says are the benefits of his policies and fairness for the middle class - contrasting his proposals with those of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The president seeks to portray Romney as the protector of the wealthy who would enact $5 trillion of new tax cuts in addition to the Bush-era reductions that have been the subject of partisan debate with Congress for the past three years.

Saying the tax issue reflects the political stalemate in Washington and basic differences in vision for the country, Obama said his proposal would help strengthen the middle class.

"I am not proposing anything radical here.  I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under [former President] Bill Clinton - back when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and plenty of millionaires to boot," Obama said.

In a compromise with congressional Republicans in 2010, Obama agreed to a two year extension of Bush-era tax cuts, but said he would not agree to another extension.

If Congress does not act before the end of this year, rates for all Americans will increase.  Economists warn of a potential double punch to the economy from this and automatic mandatory spending cuts beginning at the same time.

Republicans rejected Obama's proposal in advance.  House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said Obama is "doubling down" on tax increases that would harm small businesses.  A Romney campaign statement accused Obama of responding to recent bad economic news with a "massive tax increase," saying the president "doesn't have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class."

The exchanges over tax policy follow recent government economic reports, showing unemployment remaining at 8.2 percent with only 80,000 jobs created in the month of June.

President Obama is facing opposition from some in his own Democratic Party, who advocate extending tax rate reductions for everyone earning up to $1 million a year.

The exchanges on taxes come as Obama and the Romney campaign further shape their positions on the economy with about four months until the presidential election.

Public opinion surveys show a tight race nationally between President Obama and Mitt Romney.  Some surveys show the president leading in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Obama will visit the Midwestern state of Iowa on Tuesday to deliver remarks at the home of a middle class family that would face a substantial tax increase, if Congress does not to act by the end of the year.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid