REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON EXTENDING TAX CUTS FOR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES
The White House
July 9, 2012
12:08 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very
Everybody, have a seat. Have a seat. Good afternoon,
glad things have cooled off a
little bit. I know folks were hot. (Laughter.)
here today to talk about taxes -- something that everybody obviously
cares deeply about. And I’ve often said that our biggest
isn’t just to reclaim all the jobs that we lost to the recession --
it’s to reclaim the security that so many middle-class Americans have
lost over the past decade. Our core mission as an administration
as a country has to be, yes, putting people back
to work, but also rebuilding an economy where that work pays off -- an
economy in which everybody can have the confidence that if you work
hard, you can get ahead.
holding us back from meeting these challenges, it’s not a lack of
plans, it’s not a lack of ideas -- it is a stalemate in this town, in
Washington, between two very
different views about which direction we should go in as a
And nowhere is that stalemate more pronounced than on the issue of
members of the other party believe that prosperity comes from the top
down, so that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest
Americans, that that will
somehow unleash jobs and economic growth.
disagree. I think they’re wrong. I believe our prosperity
come from an economy that’s built on a strong and growing middle class
-- one that can afford to buy
the products that our businesses sell; a middle class that can own
homes, and send their kids to college, and save enough to retire
That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been
President -- by $3,600 for the typical middle-class family.
Let me repeat: Since I’ve been in office, we’ve cut taxes for the
typical middle-class family by $3,600. (Applause.)
wanted to repeat that because sometimes there’s a little misinformation
out there -- (laughter) -- and folks get confused about it.
we’ve tried it their way. It didn’t work. At the beginning
last decade, Congress passed trillions of dollars in tax cuts that
benefited the wealthiest Americans
more than anybody else. And we were told that it would lead to
jobs and higher incomes for everybody, and that prosperity would start
at the top but then trickle down.
what happened? The wealthy got wealthier, but most Americans
struggled. Instead of creating more jobs, we had the slowest job
growth in half a century. Instead of widespread
prosperity, the typical family saw its income fall. And in just a
years, we went from record surpluses under Bill Clinton to record
deficits that we are now still struggling to pay off today.
we don’t need more top-down economics. We’ve tried that
seen what happens. We can’t afford to go back to it. We
that grow and strengthen
the middle class -- policies that help create jobs, that make education
and training more affordable, that encourage businesses to start up and
create jobs right here in the United States.
that’s why I believe it’s time to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest
Americans -- folks like myself -- to expire. (Applause.)
And, by the
way, I might feel differently
-- because it’s not like I like to pay taxes -- (laughter) -- I might
feel differently if we were still in surplus. But we’ve got this
deficit, and everybody agrees that we need to do something about these
deficits and these debts. So the money we’re
spending on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our
deficit, a major contributor to our deficit, costing us a trillion
dollars over the next decade.
the way, these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are also the tax
cuts that are least likely to promote growth. So we can’t afford
keep that up, not right now.
So I’m not proposing anything radical here. I just believe that
anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax
rates we were paying under Bill Clinton -- back when our economy
created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus
in history, and plenty of millionaires to boot.
this is not just my opinion. The American people are with me on
Poll after poll shows that’s the case. And there are plenty of
patriotic and very successful,
very wealthy Americans who also agree, because they know that by making
that kind of contribution, they’re making the country as a whole
the same time, most people agree that we should not raise taxes on
middle-class families or small businesses -- not when so many folks are
just trying to get by. Not when
so many folks are still digging themselves out of the hole that was
created by this Great Recession that we had, and at a time when the
recovery is still fragile. And that’s why I’m calling on Congress
extend the tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans
who make less than $250,000 for another year. (Applause.)
Congress doesn’t do this, millions of American families -- including
these good-looking people behind me -- (laughter) -- could see their
taxes go up by $2,200 starting
on January 1st of next year. And that would be a big blow to
working families, and it would be a drag on the entire economy.
we can already anticipate -- we know what those who are opposed to
letting the high-end tax cuts expire will say. They’ll say that
can’t tax “job creators.” And
they'll try to explain how this would be bad for small
me tell you, the folks who create most new jobs in America are
America’s small business owners. And I've cut taxes for small
owners 18 times since I've been
in office. (Applause.) I’ve also asked Congress repeatedly
new tax cuts for entrepreneurs who hired new workers and raised their
here's the thing that you have to remember. The proposal I make
would extend these tax cuts for 97 percent of all small business owners
in America. In other words,
97 percent of small businesses fall under the $250,000 threshold.
(Applause.) So this isn’t about taxing job creators, this is
helping job creators. I want to give them relief. I want to
those 97 percent a sense of permanence.
believe we should be able to come together and get this done.
disagree on extending tax cuts for the wealthy, because we just can’t
afford them, I recognize that
not everybody agrees with me on this. On the other hand, we all
agree that we should extend the tax cuts for 98 percent of the American
people. Everybody says that. The Republicans say they don't
raise taxes on the middle class. I don't
want to raise taxes on the middle class.
we should all agree to extend the tax cuts for the middle class.
agree to do what we agree on. Right? (Applause.)
compromise is all about. Let’s
not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage
while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. We
have that debate. (Applause.) We can have that debate, but
hold up working on the thing that we already
many ways, the fate of the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans will be
decided by the outcome of the next election. My opponent will
keep them in place. I will
fight to end them. But that argument shouldn’t threaten
shouldn’t threaten the 98 percent of Americans who just want to know
that their taxes won’t go up next year.
families and small business owners, they deserve that guarantee.
deserve that certainty. It will be good for the economy and it
good for you.
And we should give you that certainty now. We should do it
will be good for you. It will be good for the economy as a
my message to Congress is this: Pass a bill extending the tax
the middle class; I will sign it tomorrow. Pass it next week;
sign it next week. Pass it
next -- well, you get the idea. (Laughter.)
soon as that gets done, we can continue to have a debate about whether
it’s a good idea to also extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest
Americans. I’ll have one position.
The other side will have another. And we’ll have that debate, and
American people can listen to that debate.
then next year, once the election is over, things have calmed down a
little bit, based on what the American people have said and how they’ve
spoken during that election,
we’ll be in a good position to decide how to reform our entire tax code
in a simple way that lowers rates and helps our economy grow, and
brings down our deficit -- because that’s something that we’re going to
have to do for the long term.
right now, our top priority has to be giving middle-class families and
small businesses the security they deserve. You’re the ones who
driving this recovery forward.
(Applause.) You’re the ones who are driving this recovery
I think it’s time to widen the circle of opportunity and help more
Americans who work hard to get ahead. It’s time that we learned
lessons of our past and lay the foundation for a
better future. That’s what I’m focused on every day, and I hope
Congress will join me in doing the right thing.
So thank you very much, you all, for being here. Thank you.
2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Presidential
Candidate Gary Bauer congratulated Governor Scott
Walker for his win in Wisconsin's
ready to do the hard work of reigning in out-of-control
Bauer, the chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, made
the following statement:
"I congratulate Governor Scott Walker
for his hard-fought victory tonight, and most especially for having the
courage of his convictions to fight the good fight. But the victory in Wisconsin is not Scott
Walker's alone. It is a victory for the hard-working
taxpayers of Wisconsin,
who foot the bill year after year. It is a victory for common
over powerful special interests. It is a victory that taxpayers
every state can celebrate. It is a victory, yes, even for some
Gov. Walker's reforms were enacted, tens of thousands of state
employees have opted to keep more of the money they earn rather than
let the public employees union siphon off their hard-earned
In other words, once given the choice, more than half of the public
employees union's members decided that they didn't need the
These reforms will pay real dividends for the taxpayers of
They are the real winners tonight.
"The recall election is a sign of good things to come. The
power of the Big Labor bosses has finally been checked, not just in Wisconsin,
but also in scores of other states across the country. More
legislators and taxpayers will be inspired to stand up against the
liberal labor unions and do what is truly in the best interests of
their communities. Wisconsin's
Electoral College votes are now in play, and the anti-tax, small
government movement that swept the country in 2010 is about to sweep Barack Obama out of office in 154 days!"
Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1drYR)