Obama pushes Congress to end ‘circus’ and act now

President urges $450 billion jobs proposal to ‘jolt’ economy in national address

 

By Alex Johnson

 

Calling it an “urgent time for our country,” President Barack Obama asked Congress on Thursday night to “stop the political circus” and approve a nearly half-trillion-dollar plan to help the economy by cutting payroll taxes, raising taxes on the wealthy and rewarding companies that hire new workers.

“We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless and a political crisis that has made things worse,” Obama said in an address to a joint session of Congress.

To answer that crisis, Obama proposed what he called the American Jobs Act, which he said would cut payroll taxes in half for working Americans and most small businesses, and boost spending on public works, like roads, by $105 billion. The plan would make last year’s cut in the individual Social Security tax rate, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, permanent.

Obama calculated that the “typical working family” would get a $1,500 tax cut and that small companies with 50 employees would save $80,000, which he said would “provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled.”

Obama didn’t say how much the plan would cost, but advisers told NBC News it would run about $450 billion. Obama said he hopes to pay for it by closing corporate tax “loopholes” and by raising taxes on wealthier Americans.

“We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake and everybody pays their fair share,” he said. “And I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order.”

Earlier this summer, Republicans forced a partial government shutdown over their refusal to raise any taxes at all, but Obama told them they should “pass this jobs plan right away,” because “the millions of Americans who are watching right now, they don’t care about politics. They have real-life concerns.”

Read full article here: MSNBC

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