With November elections approaching fast the battle between the Republicans and the Democrats has only escalated over small-business legislation and extending tax cuts for Americans. Typically, Obama has accused Republicans of holding up work on the two pieces of legislation which he said would hold the economy “hostage”.
“For months the Republican leadership in the Senate has said no. All the while, small-business owners kept waiting for help,” Obama said. Obama then thanked Republican Senators George Voinovich of Ohio and George LeMieux of Florida for voting to allow the small-business legislation to move forward.
“I want to thank them for their efforts because they understand we simply don’t have enough time anymore to play games,” Obama said.
Obama also called out Congress telling them to act “right now” on extending tax cuts for the middle-class. Obama has called the debate over taxes a prime example of the differences between Republicans and Democrats in the run-up to the November midterm elections. Most Democrats want tax cuts for the middle class only (real fair for everybody else), defined as individuals making less than $200,000 or families making below $250,000.
Republicans, on the other hand, want tax breaks for everybody across the board saying that raising taxes on anybody during poor economic times could create severe problems. On this debate several Democrats are taking the Republicans’ side. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky stated that “tax hikes aren’t good to grow the economy. The good news is that a growing chorus of Democrats, here in the Senate and out on the campaign trail, are opposing the tax hikes the administration is proposing.”
Senate Democratic leaders said on Wednesday that they were working to vote on the tax cuts for the middle class only before the November election. The tax cuts, enacted under former President George W. Bush, are set to expire at the end of the year. Obama failed to comment on whether or not he would sign legislation that includes extending the tax cuts across the board. Obama has said the country can not afford extending tax cuts for the wealthy, noting that it would add around $700 billion over a 10 year time span to the deficit.
“It’s a tax cut economists say would do little to add momentum to our economy,” Obama said.
Somewhere around 97% of Americans make less than $250,000 a year according to Obama. He also stated that the people making more money than that would still get a tax break on their first $200,000 or $250,000 depending on whether or not they are individuals or families.