Obama insists on ending Bush tax cuts
CLEVELAND (AP) – Politically weakened but refusing to bend, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that Bush-era tax cuts be cut off for the wealthiest Americans, joining battle with Republicans – and some fellow Democrats – just two months before bruising midterm elections.
Singling out House GOP leader John Boehner in his home state, Obama delivered a searing attack on Republicans for advocating “the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations.”
Obama rolled out a trio of new plans to help spur job growth and invigorate the sluggish national economic recovery. They would expand and permanently extend a research and development tax credit that lapsed in 2009, allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their investments in equipment and plants through 2011 and pump $50 billion into highway, rail, airport and other infrastructure projects.
The package was assembled by the president’s economic team after it became clear that the recovery was running out of steam. There was a political component, too: With Democrats in danger of losing control of the House in November, Obama is under heavy pressure to show voters that he and his party are ready to do more to get the economy moving and get millions of jobless Americans back to work.
However, none of Wednesday’s proposals, nor Obama’s call for allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans, seems likely to be acted on by Congress before the elections, reflecting the battering Obama and congressional Democrats have taken in public opinion polls.