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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid