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Rebuilding Our Economy to Work for Middle Class Americans Again

Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer lays out the stakes on the economy ahead of the President's remarks in Cleveland.

Today, the President will speaking in the Cleveland, Ohio about his vision for the future of the American economy and about specific ways to move our economy forward. 

A few weeks ago, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner visited Cleveland to offer his party’s answer to our economic challenges. There were no new ideas, just the same philosophy we tried for the last decade and which led to the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression – cut taxes for millionaires, cut rules for corporations, and leave the middle class to fend for itself.

President Obama has a different vision for America – as a place where we don’t just think about today; we think about tomorrow.  Where responsibility is rewarded and those who put our economy at risk are not. Where we lead the world in the goods we make and sell, not just in the things we consume.  And where the benefits of growth are truly shared, from the company CEO to the newest guy on the assembly line.

In this spirit, the President is laying out three additional steps to help grow the economy and help businesses spur hiring:

  1. Rebuild America’s roads, bridges and runways. The President is calling for a bold effort to renew and expand our transportation infrastructure – in a plan that combines a long-term vision for the future with new investments. A significant portion of the new investments would be front-loaded in the first year. Some tangible accomplishments of this effort include: Rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads – renewing our commitment to the backbone of our transportation system; constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of rail – enough to go coast-to-coast; and rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of runway – while putting in place a NextGen system that will reduce travel time and delays. Learn more in the White House fact sheet (pdf).
  2. Expand, simplify and make permanent the R&D tax credit. The President is proposing to expand, simplify, and permanently extend the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit. This is a win-win—encouraging companies to create good jobs in America now and to make investments that will pay off with stronger economic growth in the future. The President’s proposal to increase the simplified R&D credit to 17 percent would represent the largest increase in this tax benefit on recordLearn more in the White House fact sheet (pdf).
  3. Accelerate business investment to promote job creation. The President is proposing to jump-start private investment and job creation by allowing companies to fully deduct qualified capital investments through the end of 2011. This measure would provide tax incentives for businesses to invest in the United States when our economy needs it most, which should both help create jobs now and expand the capital stock to support future growth. This unprecedented step would be the largest temporary investment incentive in American history.  Learn more in the White House fact sheet (pdf).

These measures will help create jobs while building an American economy that is more competitive and productive over the long term. They compliment the measures the President is continuing to fight for to help make the economy work for middle class families again, including:

  • Permanently extending tax cuts for the middle class: Republicans are intent on holding hostage middle class tax relief to give a permanent tax cut to the wealthiest two percent of Americans. President Obama will call for immediately extending permanent relief to middle class families, and call on Republican leaders to drop their insistence that we add more than $700 billion to our deficit to give an average tax cut of $100,000 to Americans making over $1 million per year. 
  • Passing the small business jobs bill: The President will urge passage of the small business jobs bill which would provide key tax relief for small businesses, including eliminating capital gains taxes on key investments in small firms. The bill would also expand access to credit for small firms and provide additional incentives for small businesses to invest and grow. 
  • Providing additional support to middle class families:  The President will renew his call for additional targeted tax relief for middle class families to reduce the cost of childcare and sending a child to college. In particular, the President will call for making permanent his American Opportunity Tax Credit for college, which would mean $10,000 in tuition relief for each child going to four years of college. This measure makes clear that in good times or bad, we never want any family to stop investing in the future of their children or our country.  

Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director