By: Lauren Saccone
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. The one-year extension would be applied to middle-class Americans, but not be applicable to the wealthy. The tax cuts would affect about 97% of households. If all the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year as originally intended, families could expect to pay up to $2,200 more in taxes.
“Right now, our top priority has to be giving middle-class families and small businesses the security they deserve,” President Obama said in a White House press conference.
While encouraging Congress to prolong Bush tax cuts for most Americans, President Obama has no intention of doing the same for the wealthy. Insiders have confirmed that the president intends to veto a bill that would provide relief to those making $250,000 or more.
“Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans hostage and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy,” President Obama said.
Republicans have been quick to criticize this economic move, accusing the president of ignoring the real problems facing the nation.
“President Obama is still asleep at the switch when it comes to our economy and jobs,” said Republican House Speaker John Boehner in an official statement. Americans making over $250,00 a year would see their taxes rise from 35% to 36.9%, an unacceptable amount to Republican politicians. They favor extending tax cuts for all Americans, including the wealthy.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has blasted President Obama’s proposal, claiming it will result in major tax increases. This plan, Romney maintains, is a sign that President Obama “doesn’t have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class.”
The Bush tax cuts were put into place during George W. Bush’s first term. President Obama extended the cuts in 2010. There are concerns that allowing the tax cuts to expire could serve a crushing blow to the recovering economy.
[Pic via Flickr - Nick Knupffer]