President Obama on Tax Agreement
As was widely anticipated - President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 into law. After Congress approved the legislation Tuesday - the President said the measure delivers on his campaign promise to change the tax code that was too skewed toward the wealthy at the expense of middle-class Americans. He gave credit to Democrats and Republicans for a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest two-percent of Americans and prevents a middle-class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession. According to the President - more than 98-percent of Americans and 97-percent of small businesses will now not see their income taxes go up and millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their kids and send them to college. President Obama also pointed out Tuesday that companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research they do, the investments they make and the clean energy jobs they create. But President Obama also said this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen the economy.
President Obama said he is open to compromise as Congress continues to chip away at the deficit - but continued to argue that cutting spending must go hand-in-hand with further reforms to the tax code. He also said he will not have another debate with the Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills they've already racked up through bills they have passed. If Congress refuses to give the U.S. government the ability to pay its bills on time - President Obama said the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic.
According to the President - the sum total of all the budget agreements reached so far proves there is a path forward. President Obama said Democrats and Republicans can come together to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces the deficit, protects the middle class and provides ladders into the middle class for those willing to work hard. He added that the debate can be handled in a way that it doesn't stop legislators from meeting a host of other challenges we face - including creating jobs, fixing our immigration system and boosting domestic energy production.
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