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Published On: Mon, Jul 9th, 2012

President Obama calls for extension of Bush tax cuts

President Barack Obama revitalized his push for holding down middle-class tax rates Monday, calling on Congress to pass a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning less than $250,000 a year.

President Obama reflects during an economic meeting with advisors in the Roosevelt Room. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

In a White House statement delivered while people described as working Americans stood behind him, Obama said his proposal would provide the certainty of no tax increase next year for 98% of Americans.

The New York Times said Obama would announce the tax cut extension in the Rose Garden on Monday, citing un-named senior administration officials.

Noting that Republicans seek to maintain all of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, Obama said both sides therefore agree on extending the lower rates for middle-class families.

“Let’s agree to do what we agree on, right?” Obama said to laughter and applause in the East Room. “That’s what compromise is all about.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, indicated he would schedule a Senate vote on Obama’s proposal, while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, said the chamber would vote later this month on a one-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for everyone.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday that Obama would veto the House version if it reached his desk.

Facing a tough re-election fight against certain Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign seeks to frame the contest as a debate between the president’s goal of restoring middle-class opportunity versus GOP policies that it says would primarily benefit corporations and wealthy Americans.

Obama and other Democrats said Monday that Republicans would have to decide if protecting wealthy Americans from a tax increase was worth holding “hostage” the extension of middle-class tax cuts.

A Romney campaign official criticized Obama’s announcement as more bad policy from the president in the wake of the latest disappointing jobs report.

“President Obama’s response to even more bad economic news is a massive tax increase,” said Andrea Saul, the Romney campaign’s spokeswoman. “It just proves again that the president doesn’t have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class.”

Unlike Obama, Saul continued, Romney “understands that the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone.”

Republicans also complained that Obama’s plan would raise taxes on more than 900,000 small-business owners who report their income in individual returns as so-called flow-through enterprises.

“The proposed tax increase on 53% of all flow-through business income would be especially harmful to small businesses,” said a statement by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, a leading conservative.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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