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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora