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Friday, September 10, 2010

President Obama Addresses Tough Issues: Among Them Tax Cuts For Small Businesses

President Obama addressed the media this morning to discuss among many items, tax cuts, and the repeated stifling of his administration's efforts by the GOP to move the country forward.

President Obama speaking to the media today on the economy. White House photo.
Speaking from the East Room of the White House the president said, "But one thing we can do next week is end a month-long standoff on a small business jobs bill that’s been held up in the Senate by a partisan minority. I realize there are plenty of issues in Washington where people of good faith simply disagree on principle. This should not and is not one of those issues.

The bill, as the president pointed out, was written by both Dems and Republicans and would give small business owners tax cuts, and help them get loans, and would not add to current deficit.

Said the president, "It will eliminate capital gains taxes for key investments in one million small businesses. It will provide incentives to invest and create jobs for four million small businesses. It will more than double the amount some small business owners can borrow to grow their companies."  

The president acknowledged the remarks of Republican Senator George Voinovich (OH) who said he would refuse to support blocking the bill, but said that "a minority of Republican senators have been using legislative tactics to prevent the bill from even getting to a vote."  The president quoted Voinovich who sided againist Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to delay the measure.  Said Voinovich, “This country is really hurting.” and “We don’t have time anymore to play games.”

The president was asked how he thought he has changed Washington since becoming president.

The president pointed out the successes of his administration saying, "whether it’s making sure that folks who can’t get health insurance because of preexisting condition can now get health insurance, or children who didn’t have coverage now have coverage; whether it’s making sure that credit card companies have to actually post in understandable ways what your credit card rates are and they can’t jack up existing balances in arbitrary ways; whether it’s making sure that we’ve got clean water and clean air for future generations; whether it’s making sure that tax cuts go to families that need it as opposed to folks who don’t -- on a whole range of issues over the last 18 months, we’ve put in place policies that are going to help grow a middle class and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth."

In a White House press release submitted earlier this afternoon, the president said he plans to sign a tax bill that will give millions of small businesses tax cuts that would directly help them. 

According to the release the proposed tax cuts would make 4.5 million small businesses and individuals eligible to increase the amount of investments they can write off ; extend bonus depreciation for 2 million businesses, small and large; make investments in 1 million small businesses eligible for zero capital gains taxes; allow 2 million self-employed to receive a deduction for health insurance costs on self-employment taxes; and enable virtually all small business owners to more easily receive a deduction for their use of cell phones.

Should the bill pass, the president could add yet another feather in his 'save the U.S. economy' presidential hat.

**Update**
After publishing we've learned that John Boehner has decided to play ball and support tax cuts for the middle class.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs made the following comment.

"We welcome John Boehner's change in position and support for the middle class tax cuts, but time will tell if his actions will be anything but continued support for the failed policies that got us into this mess."

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