Obama: Extend payroll tax cut 'immediately'
December 6th, 2011
02:41 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama: Extend payroll tax cut 'immediately'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Congress needs to "immediately" extend a payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year.

"If we don't do that, 160 million Americans, including most of the people here, will see their taxes go up by an average of $1,000 starting in January, and it would badly weaken our recovery," Obama said in a speech that pushed for passage of provisions in his jobs package.

He framed the issue as a choice between making vital investments in future growth or the Republican position he characterized as maintaining "tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans in our country."

"We can't afford to do both," Obama said. "That is not politics. That's just math."

Obama said that due to tax loopholes and shelters, "a quarter of all millionaires now pay lower tax rates than millions of you, millions of middle-class families," and "some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1%."

"This is the height of unfairness," Obama said in a speech pushing for approval of provisions of his jobs package. "It's wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker (who) maybe earns $50,000 should pay a higher tax rate than somebody raking in $50 million."

Obama said that the issue "isn't about class warfare," a charge leveled by Republican opponents.

"This is about the nation's welfare," he said. "It's about making choices that benefit not just the people who've done fantastically well over the last few decades, but that benefits the middle class, and those fighting to get into the middle class, and the economy as a whole."


Filed under: Congress • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. joesixpackjr

    If social security revenue is not sufficient, the eventual reduction of benefits is inevitable. Obama does not like the current social security system and is trying to maneuver toward a means tested welfare program. Beware!

    December 6, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    At this point Mr. President – it really doesn't matter what you say because everyone knows who the GOP supports/represents and we are ALL just waiting to kick them out on the streets where they won't be able to hurt this country or OUR economy anymore.
    Obama 2012

    December 6, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. michele

    Beware!! The GOP want to bankrupt the Middle Class and strip women of their rights!!!

    Tax the Millionaires.....and give the middle class some relief!

    December 6, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Katie

    I'm so scared! Give up the fear mongering!
    OBAMA 2012!

    December 6, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Edward

    Obama "Doesn't like the current system?" NOBODY DOES.

    Social Security is valuable to this country (even as it fails, part of your paycheck still automatically goes to it whether or not you want it to), but the system does need to be altered so that it doesn't completely collapse.

    December 6, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Let's face the facts. The economy was fine right up until ten years ago. when Republicans were in control of the White House and the Congress, and they decided to stimulate a thriving economy.

    It is time to undo the ongoing damage caused by those policies. They destroyed many a person's retirement, jobs, home, and life. They turned pursuit of happiness into pursuit of a job just to make ends almost meet.

    December 6, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Good job President Obama. Now ask Reoublican Congress to repeal the 2% TAX CUT for the wealthiest Americans in our country and use that to pay for the payroll tax cut or break and extenion unployedment benefit to so many needed AMERICAN. Close the tax loopholes and shelters for the rich. Congress could use a pay cut 2% also. GO President Obama

    December 6, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Don't count on any republicans to help 160 million of us, if it means that 250,000 millionaires will have to return to the Clinton tax rate. I am amazed at the number of millionaires who have the time to post their right wingnut crazy talking points from the foreign owned media, every day.

    December 6, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Beware of lying republicans, who are hell bent on destroying America in the name of corporate greed.

    December 6, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. DVoice12

    What is so crazy about this is that all he is tryinng to do is scale back some of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. He is not raising taxes. The Rethuglicans then say it will hurt the job creators, what jobs?? It anin't working so it's time to do it Obama's way, just like Clinton's time, reverse the Bush tax cuts and begin investing in American. Clinton created 25 million jobs at those tax rates. We all know what works. Vote out the Rethuglicans who signed the Grover Norquist pledge!!!!!!

    December 6, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What additional socialist programs do the repubes want to eliminate? Are they ready to eliminate the military, tax breaks for big oil, tax breaks for big corporations, farm subsidies, big pharma subsidies, bail outs for big banks and wall street, and all forms of government?

    We already know about the rest of the republican agenda: eliminate social security and medicare, veterans' benefits, CHIP, police and fire, public education, nurses, the middle class, the poor, Hispanics, Blacks, teachers, safety regulations, clean air, clean water, the post office, and more.

    December 6, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Ted van Tol

    Don't count GOP on this. The only thing they want is to distroy your Presidency!
    When you want te be re-elected then you have to be very hard on them. They do not
    understand bipartisanship.

    December 6, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Houston

    Pallidin – or anyone else for that matter – all you have to do is ask : go to google & ask the question, and whatever you put into google, make sure you put QUOTATIONS Before the first word – AND Quotations After the last word . for instance : ""How many millionaires are there in the U.S. "" or ""How many Billionaires are there in the U.S. "" You will find your answers.

    December 6, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. janelle

    I can't believe the bs this president continues to spew. there are no millionaires or billionaires that are paying only 1% tax rate. even with all the "loopholes" and "deductions" no one making over a million dollars per year is paying less than 28 percent. and that's 28 percent more than 47% of Americans are paying.

    If we took every penny of income over 100K from everyone making over 100K/year, we wouldn't fund what this governament spends in a year, we'd still have to be borrowing.

    That's what happens when you redistribute wealth that has already been generated without generating new wealth to replace it. Eventually, you run out of money!!!!

    If this president really wanted to help the middle class, he'd quit trying to control the economy, and get rid of the fiscal policies he has put in place that are strangling the economy, and let the economy grow, produce jobs and generate wealth.

    He wants a guaranteed equal outcome, but doesn't say a word about equal input. Equal input, everyone working the same in some form or manner. When every single adult over 18 is willing to do some form of work for at least 40 hours per week, then we can talk about equally distributing the collective results.

    December 6, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |