By Jueseppi B.
President Obama: There’s Only One Way to Solve These Challenges – Together
Today, President Obama held a news conference to answer questions about his plans for the next four years. He made one thing clear: his job is to help American families and small businesses get ahead in the wake of the recession.
I’ve got a mandate to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. That’s my mandate. That’s what the American people said. They said: Work really hard to help us. Don’t worry about the politics of it; don’t worry about the party interests; don’t worry about the special interests. Just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead — because we’re working really hard out here and we’re still struggling, a lot of us.
The most immediate issue facing President Obama and lawmakers here in Washington is a year-end deadline that will require some big decisions on jobs, taxes and deficits — and have a real effect on families all over the country.
The President said there’s one thing we can do right now to provide a foundation for a solution that helps the economy and gives middle-class families more certainty in the coming weeks. And it’s something that everyone agrees on: pass a law that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.
“That means every American, including the wealthiest Americans, get a tax cut,” he said. “It means that 98 percent of all Americans, and 97 percent of all small businesses won’t see their taxes go up a single dime.”
President Obama said that he’s open to compromise and new ideas about making decisions in a balanced and responsible way. But, he said “there’s only one way to solve these challenges, and that is to do it together.”
There are some tough things that have to be done, but there is a way of doing this that does not hurt middle-class families, that does not hurt our seniors, doesn’t hurt families with disabled kids, allows us to continue to invest in those things that make us grow, like basic research and education, helping young people afford going to college.
So we know how to do this. This is just a matter of whether or not we come together and go ahead and say, Democrats and Republicans, we’re both going to hold hands and do what’s right for the American people. And I hope that’s what happens.
President Obama Holds a Press Conference
“If Congress sends me a clean bill extending the tax cuts on the first $250,000 of every family’s income, I will sign it right away”
— President Obama
President Obama is calling on Congress to pass a bill right now that would prevent 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses from paying higher taxes next year.
Middle-class families can’t afford that right now. And nobody in Washington says they want it to happen. Instead of holding the middle class hostage over tax cuts for the wealthy, we should do what we can agree on: keep middle-class taxes from going up.
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Elements of the proposed bill
The White House provided a fact sheet which summarizes the key provisions of the $447 billion bill. Some of its elements include:
- Cutting and suspending $245 billion worth of payroll taxes for qualifying employers and 160 million medium to low income employees.
- Spending$62 billion for a Pathways Back to Work Program for expanding opportunities for low-income youth and adults.
- $49 billion – Extending unemployment benefits for up to 6 million long-term beneficiaries.
- $8 billion – Jobs tax credit for the long term unemployed.
- $5 billion – Pathways back to work fund.
- Spending $50 billion on both new & pre-existing infrastructure projects.
- Spending $35 billion in additional funding to protect the jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters
- Spending $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 public schools and community colleges.
- Spending $15 billion on a program that would hire construction workers to help rehabilitate and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes and businesses.
- Creating the National Infrastructure Bank (capitalized with $10 billion), originally proposed in 2007, to help fund infrastructure via private and public capital.
- Creating a nationwide, inter-operable wireless network for public safety, while expanding accessibility to high-speed wireless services.
- Prohibiting discrimination in hiring against persons who are unemployed because of their status as unemployed persons..
- Loosening regulations on small businesses that wish to raise capital, including through crowd funding, while retaining investor protections.
In total the legislation includes $253 billion in tax credits (56.6%) and $194 billion in spending and extension of unemployment benefits (43.4%).
We ALL can have a wonderful, happy & safe Holiday Season if we ALL have jobs.
America has never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”
~ President Barack Obama, November 7, 2012~
“Disagree Intelligently, Use The Facts & Truth™”