(CNN) - The White House and Congressional Democrats are using a Senate vote on Wednesday to try and force Congressional action on a tax cut compromise. At issue is President Obama’s proposal to extend only Bush-era tax cuts on income below $250,000 a year, while allowing cuts for everything over that threshold to expire at the end of the year.
In anticipation of the vote, the National Economic Council released a study on Tuesday surveying the economic effects of the president’s plan, and Vice President Joe Biden held a rare conference call with reporters to hammer home the significance of finding a compromise.
“If Congress doesn't get this done, there are going to be 114 million people – middle class families – see their taxes go up and in effect a cut in their wages,” Biden said. “A typical middle class family, making fifty grand, a family of four, is going to pay $2,200 extra.” FULL POST
Washington (CNN) – 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.
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.
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."
Facing a tough re-election fight in November against 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.
WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - President Barack Obama is expected to call on Congress to pass a one-year extension on the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning less than $250,000 a year.
A White House official said Obama will make the announcement Monday at the Rose Garden, surrounded by working people.
In addition, a campaign official said the campaign will "amplify the president's message on middle-class tax cuts" by hosting a series of events in battleground states all week across the country.
In Las Vegas, for example, local elected officials will discuss Obama's efforts to fight for the middle class, the campaign official said. In Colorado, Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland, Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio and state Sen. Gail Schwartz will hold a press conference to discuss the contrasting economic visions of Obama and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
On Sunday, a top adviser for Obama's re-election campaign said the president was entirely dedicated to ending the so-called Bush tax cuts for the wealthy at the end of this year.
"He is 100% committed to it," Robert Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union."
For the full story, click here.
The White House announced this morning that President Obama will be in the East Room late this morning to announce his call for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for those making under $250,000. President Obama has talked about these cuts many times on the campaign trail and will continue to take his message on the road this week. But we'll hear his announcement this morning at 11:50a. The rest of the day will be behind closed doors while he gives interviews with local television anchors from key battleground states and then holds two closed campaign fundraising events this afternoon in DC.
For the full schedule released by the White House, click below. FULL POST
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama is expected to call on Congress to pass a one-year extension on the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning less than $250,000 a year.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Treasury Department will unveil President Barack Obama's corporate tax reform plan Wednesday - a framework that would reduce the overall rate paid by corporations, a senior administration official told CNN.
The president's tax plan is intended to "enhance American competitiveness by simplifying the tax code and eliminating dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, incentivizing job creation and investment here at home and lowering the business rate while broadening the tax base," the official said.
The proposal calls for lowering the overall corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%, and the effective rate for manufacturing to 25%.
The official, who laid out the plan's broad framework for CNN, said the proposal is essential to fixing a system that is "uncompetitive, unfair, and inefficient."
The official told CNN the lower rate would be largely funded by eliminating dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, and broadening the business tax base.
NEW YORK(CNNMoney) - What Would Jesus ... Deduct?
President Obama offered a new line of reasoning for hiking taxes on the rich on Thursday, saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that his policy proposals are shaped by his religious beliefs.
Obama said that as a person who has been "extraordinarily blessed," he is willing to give up some of the tax breaks he enjoys because doing so makes economic, and religious sense.
"For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required," Obama said, quoting the Gospel of Luke.
Obama wants to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for the richest Americans, and he has embraced the idea that wealthy Americans should not be paying a lower effective tax rate than those in the middle or lower classes.
He has argued that those policies offer Americans a "fair shot" and increased equality, while implying that the policies favored by Republicans do not.
But the overt connection between religious beliefs and political policies is new.
"I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years," Obama said. "And I believe in God's command to love thy neighbor as thyself. I know a version of that golden rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs."
An administration official speaking on background told CNN that Obama viewed the speech as chance to explain his personal faith practices and to show "his desire to step in the gap for those who are vulnerable."
So what does the Bible say about taxes?
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama hailed Senate passage of a bill to extend for two months the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance - two key provisions of his jobs bill - saying the money would provide a lifeline to struggling families and make "a real difference" in the lives of people trying to buy groceries and pay the bills.
The president's comments came just hours after the Senate voted 89-10 to pass the measure, which also included a provision that prevents a drop in Medicare payments to doctors. But the House must still pass the bill, and it's not yet clear it has the support it needs to pass there. The president plans to delay his annual holiday trip to Hawaii until the House votes, senior administration officials said.
Remarks of President Barack Obama for his weekly Saturday morning radio/internet address, as released by the White House:
This week, we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. Despite some strong headwinds this year, America’s economy has now created private sector jobs for the past 21 months in a row – almost three million new jobs in all, more than half a million of them in the past four months alone.
We need to keep this growth going and strengthen it. That’s why we’ve been fighting to pass a series of jobs bills through Congress – bills that independent economists say will create more jobs and grow the economy even faster. Because now is the time to step on the gas, not slam on the brakes.
Unfortunately, too many Republicans in Congress don’t seem to share that same sense of urgency. Over the last few months, they’ve said “no” to most of these jobs bills. “No” to putting teachers and firefighters back to work. “No” to putting construction workers back on the job. And this week, they actually said “no” to cutting taxes for middle-class families.
You see, last year, both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical middle-class family by about $1,000. But that tax cut is set to expire at the end of this month. If that happens, that same family will see its taxes go up by $1,000. We can’t let that happen. In fact, I think we should cut taxes on working families and small business owners even more.
And we’re going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen. They shouldn’t go home for the holidays until they get this done. And if you agree with me, I could use your help.
We’ve set up a simple tax cut calculator on WhiteHouse.gov so that you can see exactly what the stakes are for your family. Try it out. Then let your members of Congress know where you stand.
Tell them not to vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays. Tell them to put country before party. Put money back in the pockets of working Americans. Pass these tax cuts.
We’re all in this together. The more Americans succeed, the more America succeeds. And if we remember that and do what it takes to keep this economy growing and opportunity rising, then I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger than before.
I asked President Obama today if he endorses Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s proposed “millionaire’s surtax” during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office with Honduran President Lobo. In fact, he was asked the question three times in all by reporters covering President Lobo’s visit, but he passed on the opportunity to endorse the plan, instead staying mum.
But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made clear today that the White House is open to the idea.
“The meat of this legislation, the President's [jobs] proposal, are the provisions that put teachers back to work, put construction workers to work, cut taxes for working Americans, incentivize small businesses to grow and hire and increase their wages and that will be voted on,” Carney said. “How you pay for it, we've always said, was something we were open to negotiate and debate.”
Why not issue a full endorsement of Reid’s proposed tax increase? It’s an issue of timing, a senior administration official tells me. The tax increases proposed by President Obama to pay for his jobs plan would not kick it until 2013 – he proposes a tax increase on individuals making $200,000 or more per year and couples making $250,000 or more to pay for most of his plan.
Senate Democratic aides tell CNN the Reid tax increase would take effect at the beginning of 2012, a full year earlier than the president has proposed. That would give Republican critics an election-year opening to argue that President Obama and the White House want to raise taxes while the economy is still very fragile.
Since Reid’s surtax is in line with “the Buffett Rule” – President Obama’s assertion that millionaires should not enjoy a lower tax rate than the middle class taxpayers – both White House and congressional sources are confident an agreement can be worked out. When they find that agreement, the White House and congressional Democrats hope to present a unified front, slamming Republicans they anticipate will oppose the surtax as protecting the wealthy rather than creating jobs for middle class Americans.