OBAMA DRAWS LINE IN TAX DEBATE
- By calling on Republicans to approve a one-year extension of tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, US President Obama escalated the election-year focus on taxes, emphasizing a key distinction between the two parties and seeking to create a mandate for a tax plan after the election, LA Times reported.
Neither White House officials nor congressional leaders expect a tax bill to pass before November. Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans want to extend existing cuts for all taxpayers, regardless of income. Obama says the country can't afford the cost — the price tag for the upper-income tax cuts is about $800 billion over 10 years.
White House aides said Monday that if he was reelected, the president would veto any move to extend all of the upper-income tax cuts.
The tax cuts passed during the George W. Bush administration expire on Dec. 31, along with the payroll tax cut approved under Obama. If all those cuts go away, a middle-income family that makes about $70,000 a year would face a tax increase of about $3,000. Higher-income families would feel a much bigger bite.
Those tax increases, along with automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the same time, would shrink the federal deficit in half overnight. But many economists say the sudden impact would also throw the nation back into recession.
Over the next four months, both parties hope to frame the issue to their advantage, with much depending on how voters view Americans earning more than $250,000 — the top 2% of the income scale, as Democrats emphasize, or the "job creators" that Republicans talk about.
Even before Obama made his announcement, the Romney campaign sought to push its interpretation, issuing a statement, echoed by congressional GOP leaders, that accuses Obama of seeking to "raise taxes on families, job creators and small businesses."
Later, in a radio interview, Romney called Obama's plan "a massive tax increase on job creators and on small business."
"Successful small businesses will see their taxes go up dramatically, and that will kill jobs," the unofficial Republican presidential nominee told Virginia-based conservative radio host John Fredericks in an interview taped to air Tuesday.
"I'm calling on Congress to extend the tax cuts for the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000," he said Monday, standing at a lectern in the White House East Room with a group of working Americans on risers behind him.
- 1402 Tamerlane defeats Sultan Bayazet and makes him a slave.
- 1841 The Armenian quarter of Smyrna is set on fire by Turks.
- 1855 Stepan Voskanian publishes the semi-annual "East" review in Paris (it folds in 1856).
- 1921 The Bolsheviks occupy Mountainous Armenia, the last fort of Armenian resistance.
- 1936 Opening of Yerevan's carbide factory.
- 1957 Creation of the Chemical Research Institute (National Economic Council of the Armenian SSR).