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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Tax Cuts, Unemployment Insurance & Jobs -White House White Board

In this edition of White House White Board, Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, discusses the President’s compromise framework on tax cuts, unemployment insurance & jobs.
Goolsbee contrasts Republican priorities with Obama’s which includes unemployment insurance, earned income tax credit, American opportunity tax credit for students, child tax credit, cut in payroll tax, and
investment incentives to companies to build factories and invest here at home. These things, he argues, are key to the short run recovery of the economy and getting the growth rate up.

Obama -Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance Agreement

President Obama’s press conference regarding Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance Agreement.


Press Conference by the President in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Before I answer a few questions, I just wanted to say a few words about the agreement we’ve reached on tax cuts.

My number one priority is to do what’s right for the American people, for jobs, and for economic growth. I’m focused on making sure that tens of millions of hardworking Americans are not seeing their paychecks shrink on January 1st just because the folks here in Washington are busy trying to score political points.

And because of this agreement, middle-class Americans won’t see their taxes go up on January 1st, which is what I promised — a promise I made during the campaign, a promise I made as President.

Because of this agreement, 2 million Americans who lost their jobs and are looking for work will be able to pay their rent and put food on their table. And in exchange for a temporary extension of the high-income tax breaks — not a permanent but a temporary extension — a policy that I opposed but that Republicans are unwilling to budge on, this agreement preserves additional tax cuts for the middle class that I fought for and that Republicans opposed two years ago.

I’ll cite three of them. Number one, if you are a parent trying to raise your child or pay college tuition, you will continue to see tax breaks next year. Second, if you’re a small business looking to invest and grow, you’ll have a tax cut next year. Third, as a result of this agreement, we will cut payroll taxes in 2011, which will add about $1,000 to the take-home pay of a typical family.

So this isn’t an abstract debate. This is real money for real people that will make a real difference in the lives of the folks who sent us here. It will make a real difference in the pace of job creation and economic growth. In other words, it’s a good deal for the American people.

Now, I know there are some who would have preferred a protracted political fight, even if it had meant higher taxes for all Americans, even if it had meant an end to unemployment insurance for those who are desperately looking for work.

And I understand the desire for a fight. I’m sympathetic to that. I’m as opposed to the high-end tax cuts today as I’ve been for years. In the long run, we simply can’t afford them. And when they expire in two years, I will fight to end them, just as I suspect the Republican Party may fight to end the middle-class tax cuts that I’ve championed and that they’ve opposed.

So we’re going to keep on having this debate. We’re going to keep on having this battle. But in the meantime I’m not here to play games with the American people or the health of our economy. My job is to do whatever I can to get this economy moving. My job is to do whatever I can to spur job creation. My job is to look out for middle-class families who are struggling right now to get by and Americans who are out of work through no fault of their own.

A long political fight that carried over into next year might have been good politics, but it would be a bad deal for the economy and it would be a bad deal for the American people. And my responsibility as President is to do what’s right for the American people. That’s a responsibility I intend to uphold as long as I am in this office.

So with that, let me take a couple of questions.

Ben Feller.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve been telling the American people all along that you oppose extending the tax cuts for the wealthier Americans. You said that again today. But what you never said was that you oppose the tax cuts, but you’d be willing to go ahead and extend them for a couple years if the politics of the moment demand it.

So what I’m wondering is when you take a stand like you had, why should the American people believe that you’re going to stick with it? Why should the American people believe that you’re not going to flip flop?

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on a second, Ben. This isn’t the politics of the moment. This has to do with what can we get done right now. So the issue — here’s the choice. It’s very stark. We can’t get my preferred option through the Senate right now. As a consequence, if we don’t get my option through the Senate right now, and we do nothing, then on January 1st of this — of 2011, the average family is going to see their taxes go up about $3,000. Number two: At the end of this month, 2 million people will lose their unemployment insurance.

Now, I have an option, which is to say, you know what, I’m going to keep fighting a political fight, which I can’t win in the Senate — and by the way, there are going to be more Republican senators in the Senate next year sworn in than there are currently. So the likelihood that the dynamic is going to improve for us getting my preferred option through the Senate will be diminished. I’ve got an option of just holding fast to my position and, as a consequence, 2 million people may not be able to pay their bills and tens of millions of people who are struggling right now are suddenly going to see their paychecks smaller. Or alternatively, what I can do is I can say that I am going to stick to my position that those folks get relief, that people get help for unemployment insurance. And I will continue to fight before the American people to make the point that the Republican position is wrong.

Now, if there was not collateral damage, if this was just a matter of my politics or being able to persuade the American people to my side, then I would just stick to my guns, because the fact of the matter is the American people already agree with me. There are polls showing right now that the American people, for the most part, think it’s a bad idea to provide tax cuts to the wealthy.

But the issue is not me persuading the American people; they’re already there. The issue is, how do I persuade the Republicans in the Senate who are currently blocking that position. I have not been able to budge them. And I don’t think there’s any suggestion anybody in this room thinks realistically that we can budge them right now.

And in the meantime, there are a whole bunch of people being hurt and the economy would be damaged. And my first job is to make sure that the economy is growing, that we’re creating jobs out there, and that people who are struggling are getting some relief. And if I have to choose between having a protracted political battle on the one hand, but those folks being hurt or helping those folks and continuing to fight this political battle over the next two years, I will choose the latter.

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Pres. Barack Obama proposes federal pay freeze, sacrifice.

President Obama on the Federal Pay Freeze: “Getting This Deficit Under Control is Going to Require Broad Sacrifice”


Remarks by the President on the Federal Employee Pay Freeze
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Good morning, everybody.
Let me begin by pointing out that although Washington is supposed to be a town of sharp elbows, it’s getting a little carried away. For those of you who are worried about my lip, I should be okay. The doctor has given me a clean bill of health, and I will continue to be playing basketball whenever I get a chance. In fact, I played yesterday with Sasha and Malia and they took it easy on me because they were feeling pity.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving, but now it’s time to get back to work. Congress is back in town this week. And I’m looking forward to sitting down with Republican leaders tomorrow to discuss many issues — foremost among them the American people’s business that remains to be done this year. My hope is that tomorrow’s meeting will mark a first step towards a new and productive working relationship. Because we now have a shared responsibility to deliver for the American people on the issues that define not only these times but our future — and I hope we can do that in a cooperative and serious way.

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Obama and Biden Standing Behind American Auto Industry

President Obama and Vice President point to the resurgence of the American auto industry as an example of leading the country into economic recovery as they visit the Chrysler Indiana Transmission Plant in Kokomo, IN. November 23, 2010.

A different, Kokomo, I know, but couldn’t resist.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, folks, how are you? (Applause.) Good to see you all. Good to be back in an automobile plant, making things. (Applause.) Hey, thank you all very much. We’re delighted to be here and I expect as delighted as you are to be able to be here. (Laughter.)

Look, when the President and I got elected we knew we had a heavy load to carry. The country was in some real tough shape. And we stepped up, and with the help of some of — all the congressmen, the senators here, we passed the Recovery Act just after taking office, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And we had three clear goals, led by the President. One is help communities and people who were hit the hardest, hit the hardest by this awful recession. Save and create jobs today, but also lay a foundation for long-term prosperity in the future. Because more than — a year after implementing this act, I can say proudly that not only have we helped millions of people, but — not only have we created millions of jobs, not only have we spurred growth in new industries, but we have completely transformed, with the great leadership of the local and state leadership here, communities like this one here in Kokomo. (Applause.)

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President Obama on American Auto Industry Rebirth

Good for the auto industry, President Obama, and Detroit!
Comeback | President Obama on American Auto Industry Rebirth.

President Obama Addresses CEO Business Summit in Japan

President Obama speaks of the importance of the economic relationships between the U.S. and Asia in remarks to the APEC CEO Business Summit in Yokohama, Japan.

Obama Weekly Address: Exports & Earmarks

President Obama’s address for week 11/13 focuses on earmark reform, deficit reduction and opening new markets for American businesses.

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Pres. Obama proposes steps to strengthen U.S.-India Business

At the U.S.-India Business Council Summit, President Obama proposed steps to grow trade and business relationships between India and the United States. He described India as a market of the future and welcomed a mutually beneficial increase in commerce between the world’s two largest democracies.


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 08, 2010
Remarks by the President to U.S.-India Business Council and Entrepreneurship Summit

5:43 P.M. IST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please, everyone be seated. Good afternoon, everyone. Namaste. Thank you all for an extraordinarily warm welcome. And before I get started, I just want to acknowledge some outstanding public servants, some wonderful dignitaries who are in the room. Anand Sharma, our Commerce and Industry Minister here in India. (Applause.) Khurshid Salman, the Minister of Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs, who’s here. (Applause.) Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, State Planning Commission Deputy Chairman. (Applause.) Gary Locke, who is the Secretary of Commerce for the United States. (Applause.) Terry McGraw, the chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council. (Applause.) Hari Bhartia, the president of the Confederation of Indian Industries. (Applause.) And Rajan Bharti Mittal, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (Applause.)

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Obama Weekly Address – Middle Class Tax Cuts

Continuing his call for compromise, President Obama outlines his vision for moving the country forward. Voicing his frustrations with partisan politics, the president called on congress to prioritize the permanent extension of tax cuts for all families making less than $250,000 a year which makes up 98 percent of Americans.
He also questioned the rationale of borrowing $700 billion from other countries to extend Bush tax cuts for two percent of Americans – millionaires and billionaires – and called for sacrifices across the board to make sure that huge fiscal burdens are not placed on future generations.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 06, 2010
Weekly Address: President Obama Calls for Compromise and Explains his Priorities on Taxes

WASHINGTON – As Congress prepares to focus on taxes when it returns to work later this month, President Obama called on both parties to work together and focus on the areas where all sides agree. First, the President underscored that middle-class families need permanent tax relief, so Congress should permanently extend tax cuts for all families making less than $250,000 a year – 98 percent of the American people. And second, he noted that, with the nation’s challenging fiscal situation, the country simply cannot afford to borrow another $700 billion on permanent tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

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POTUS – Four months of private sector job growth

Obama employment growth

Ahead of his trip to Asia, President Obama remarked on the latest jobs report which shows employment growth in the private sector with over a million jobs added to the economy, and four months of private sector job growth above 100,000. He cautioned, however, that there are still jobs and opportunities to be added so that more people can get back to work. Research and innovation, tax breaks for new businesses, lower tax rates for entrepreneurs and middle income families, extending employment benefits, opening markets for American goods, building new infrastructure are various proposals he put forward.

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