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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Weekly Address: The House of Representatives Must Act on Middle Class Tax Cut Extension

President Obama urges Republicans in the House of Representatives to act on his proposal to protect middle class families and small businesses from being hit with a big tax hike next year. 



Remarks of President Barack Obama
The Weekly Address
The White House
July 28, 2012

This week, the Senate passed a plan that I proposed a few weeks ago to protect middle class Americans and virtually every small business owner from getting hit with a big tax hike next year – a tax hike of $2,200 for the typical family.

Now it comes down to this: If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98% of American families and 97% of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year.

That certainty means something to a middle class family who’s already stretched the budget as far as it can go.  It means something to a small business owner who’s trying to plan ahead.  That’s security at a time when folks could use some.

And here’s the thing: everyone in Washington says they agree on this.  Everyone says they agree that we should extend the tax cuts for the middle class.  When Democrats and Republicans agree on something, it should be pretty easy to get it done.     

But right now, that’s not the case.  Instead of doing what’s right for middle class families and small business owners, Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

You see, Republicans in Congress and their nominee for President believe that the best way to create prosperity in America is to let it trickle down from the top.  They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we’ll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training and by raising middle-class taxes.

They’re wrong.  And I know they’re wrong because we already tried it that way for most of the last decade.  It didn’t work.  We’re still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefitted the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else; tax cuts that didn’t lead to the middle class jobs or higher wages we were promised and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits. 

We can’t afford more top-down economics.  What we need are policies that will grow and strengthen the middle class; that will help create jobs, make education and training more affordable, and encourage businesses to start up and stay right here in the United States. 

That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President – by $3,600 for the typical family.  That’s why I’ve cut taxes for small businesses eighteen times.  And that’s why I’m calling on 218 Members of the House to do their job and not raise taxes on the middle class. 

As soon as they pass that bill, I’ll sign it right away.  And in the meantime, I’m going to keep fighting for an economy where we’re not just putting folks back to work, but making sure that work pays off – an economy where every American, no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from, can have the confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead. 

Thanks, and have a great weekend.