(CNN) – The White House and congressional Republicans are blaming each other for holding America's economy 'hostage' by refusing to back their respective proposals to extend the politically decisive Bush-era tax cuts.
In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama urged House Republicans to act on the Democrat-controlled Senate bill passed this week to extend tax cuts for middle income earners, though Republicans are calling for an extension of all the current tax rates.
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Pointing to the Senate's passage of the White House-backed proposal, the president called on House Republicans to support the bill.
"Now it comes down to this: If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98% of American families and 97% of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year," said Obama of the plan, which would extend tax breaks for those families making $250,000 and under, or individuals earning $200,000 or less, but allow the cuts for upper-income Americans to expire at the end of the year.
The president said that while both sides are in agreement that the proposed tax cuts should be extended for the middle class, the Republicans in Congress are using these cuts as leverage to extend the tax cuts to the wealthiest earners.
"You see, Republicans in Congress and their nominee for president believe that the best way to create prosperity in America is to let it trickle down from the top. They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we'll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training and by raising middle-class taxes," said Obama.
The president continued: "They're wrong. And I know they're wrong because we already tried it that way for most of the last decade. It didn't work. We're still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else; tax cuts that didn't lead to the middle class jobs or higher wages we were promised and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits."
GOP leaders are pushing back in their call for a renewal of all Bush-era tax cuts, including cuts for those earning over $250,000.
"Mr. President, I'll tell you what - if you want to show that you stand with American small business owners, the best thing you can do is drop your plan to increase their taxes on January 1. This small business tax hike, according to Ernst & Young, will destroy more than 700,000 jobs," House speaker John Boehner said Thursday.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called folly on the Senate's tax proposal, insisting that job creators are also at risk if anything short of all the tax cuts are renewed.
"This isn't the time for political games and vilifying job creators. The President and his Washington allies need to stop holding America's economy hostage in order to raise taxes on those trying to lead our economic recovery," Hatch said Saturday in the Republican weekly address.
In the address, Hatch, a ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, pushed for his tax plan that he said would simplify the American tax code for next year as well as continue all the current tax rates.
"In just over five months, middle-class families, job creators and seniors will get hit with a massive tax hike unless the president and Congress act. This would mean that taxes would go up on virtually every single taxpaying American," said Hatch, speaking to the looming, end-of-the-year deadline for Congress to act in order for Americans to maintain the tax breaks set in place under the Bush administration.
The Republican controlled House will vote on a separate version of the tax plan next week.
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the house republican and a few democrat dont want to raise taxes on anyone
Ok lets see if you really care about the middle class workers...I for one would like to let the taxes exprire for everyone ...myself included....when Bush gave us that tax cut it was no big differeance on my paycheck so take it back..
I am a registered independnt voter -But because of the games the Republican have played. I will vote for Obama this time around and I will also not vote for Scott Brown in MA. He has voted one time as a independant the rest of the votes were all Republican..To bad he wasn't the independant he said he was. He has made no changes for us here either. I think it time for new blood in the Congress and the Senate. They are a sad bunch. And the way Cantor runs his mouth you would think he was the speaker of the house.
The REPUBLICANS need to be gutted from the house, so we can stop the gridlock and the EXTREME LAVISHING the wealthy with EVEN more preferential treatment! Gut the REPUBS from CONGRESS and let's REBUILD the middle class!
GOP is not interested in helping the Middle Class. They only care about the 2%. GOp are willing to let taxes go up for 98% of the people unless they get their way. They are the minority party. They need to be acting as such. That is why there are elections. The DEMS hold the presidency and Senate. Tthey make the calls. GOP the tax cuts will expire at the end of the year. You are in a losing position. Quit playing games...........
Let me guess the president wants to raise taxes on people who actually work for a living and pay taxes and give tax breaks to the dope addicts, welfare frauds and corrupt unoni bosses that make up his supporters. I understand he will also raise the capital gains taxes on those of us who have saved for our retirement so he can have more money to give to his contributers and supporters to waste. What a corrupt fraud.
97 percent of small businesses won't see a tax increase.....if what the repubs say is true that we will lose 700,000 jobs with only 3 percent recieving a tax hike, doesn't it make sense that the other 97 percent should be able to create at least 5 times that amount. After all wasn't the reason for the original Bush tax cuts supposed to create millions of jobs, wasn't the reason for these tax cuts for the JOB CREATORS the repubs keep slamming down our throats.
Just think how the debate would go if Romney showed his returns and as everybody anticipated, it shows he weaseled out of paying taxes and was not a "job creator". Romney won't show his returns because America would see him as what he is – a spoiled, ultra-rich, ultra-greedy, vulture capitaist who trashed the lives of working people to gain even more riches.
Why not raise taxes on everybody, including all the tax free riders which is almost a majority of people? Obama and the Democrats are always pointing to the tax rates when Clinton was president and claiming that was the key to success of the economy.
We have a $1.3 trillion deficit so raise taxes that much to pay for it and stop borrowing and sending the bill to our grand kids. Our country needs to understand the pain and implications of the spending levels the Democrats have forced on this country. It is time to stop masking it with borrowing that will destroy our kids future. They are being taxed without representation and that is simply immoral.
repulicansteabaggers stop wasting our dam tex payer time
Same,same,same....crap over and over!!! Don't these elected officials understand... we the people want them to do their jobs and find solutions. God help them to hear the voice of Americans this election...every person I speak with,young,old,democrat,republican or independent is sick and tired with the small minded useless bickering going on. Replacing the president isn't the answer and we know it. The Cantor's and Ryan's are the new good ole boys who need to be sent home. Whatever your policy .... resolving issues is what makes us great....plane and simple!!! Look at history ....never have so few hurt so many by their total disregard of their duty!!!
repulicansteabaggers stop wasting our dam tax payer time
The alleged job creators have had their tax cuts for ten years; yet there are no jobs. Why? Because there is no committment from these people to do the right thing. Their only committment is to expand their wealth by the greatest amount possible. That is done today by investing in automation which further eliminates jobs. In my view, the only way to address this problem is to force all businesses to pay taxes at a high corporate tax rate; but, give a dollar for dollar (or perhaps even greater) tax credit based upon the amount of FICA they pay. There really is no such thing as a corporate tax anyway. They simply pass the tax along to us. So what would it matter if they were able to legally reduce the corporate tax to zero. The increased personal income taxes from the workers would more than make up the difference. And, the FICA ceiling would prevent the owners from simply increasing their own wages.
"They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we'll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training and by raising middle-class taxes," wrote Obama.
Can anyone explain how a tax cut ( letting people keep more of the money they earn ) is "government spending"? Does the Federal government really own all the money and only allows it's citizenry to keep some of it? In this way, I can see it as government spending.
I will beg the rich to give me millions to run for president and pretend to help the middle class by acting like I'm against those rich people and want to tax them even more. So while I party with the rich and live the high life at an exclusive rich compound on martha's vineyard and have the taxpayers pick up a large tab so I and my family can have fancy vacations I am all for the little guy. If we can't get the Fairtax Act passed ALL 50% of Americans who pay income taxes should get a tax break.