U.S. President Barack Obama says the tax cuts in the economic recovery
bill he signed recently should take effect by April 1. Mr. Obama
calls the stimulus package the first step on the road to economic
President Obama says the tax cut will reach more Americans more quickly than any other in the nation's history.
In his weekly address Saturday, the president says the legislation Congress passed and he signed will allow the average U.S. family to keep an extra $65 each month.
"Because of what we did, 95 percent of all working families will get a tax cut, in keeping with a promise I made on the campaign. And I am pleased to announce that this morning, the Treasury Department began directing employers to reduce the amount of taxes withheld from paychecks," he said.
Mr. Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus plan on Tuesday, in hopes of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs in the next two years.
The bill passed both houses of Congress, but received almost no support from opposition Republicans. In Saturday's Republican response, Representative Dave Camp of Michigan says his party wanted to pass a stimulus plan, but that this particular plan involves too much spending.
"Republicans genuinely want to work with the president to solve these problems in a responsible way that does not burden our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt," said Camp.
The president says other aspects of the economic crisis will need to be addressed. The first, he says is slowing the spread of home foreclosures and falling home values. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama unveiled his $75 billion proposal to prevent as many as 9 million Americans from losing their homes.
Mr. Obama says fixing the broken U.S. economy will also require stabilizing and repairing the banking system, and bringing the government's budget deficit under control as the economy begins to recover.
"We cannot successfully address any of our problems without addressing them all, and that is exactly what the strategy we are pursuing is designed to do," he said.
The large amount of government spending in Mr. Obama's economic initiatives is expected to lead to what he calls "exploding" federal deficits. The president will hold a bipartisan "fiscal responsibility summit" at the White House on Monday to talk about ways to control the $1 trillion budget deficit.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama is to address a joint session of Congress. The speech is expected to emphasize the economy and his efforts to revive it.