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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs