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Weekly Address: Extending the Payroll Tax Cut for the Middle Class

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

In this week's address, President Obama urged Congress to quickly pass the payroll tax cut extension to prevent a tax hike on 160 million hardworking Americans who are still recovering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. This is not the time for a self-inflicted wound on the recovery or placing an added burden on middle class families, so Democrats and Republicans must pass this commonsense tax cut without drama or delay. We overcame the same standoff over the payroll tax cut extension in December with the help of the American people, and President Obama once again calls on all Americans to tell their elected leaders to do their jobs, put aside partisanship, and extend this tax cut for the middle class.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hello, everybody.

In recent weeks, we've seen signs that our economy is growing stronger and creating jobs at a faster clip. While numbers and figures will go up and down in the coming months, what cannot waver is our resolve to do everything in our power to keep stoking the fires of the recovery.

And the last thing we should do is let Washington stand in the way.

You see, at the end of the month, taxes are set to go up on 160 million working Americans. If you're one of them, then you know better than anyone that the last thing you need right now is a tax hike. But if Congress refuses to act, middle class taxes will go up. It's that simple.

Now, if this sounds familiar, it's because we've been here before. Back in December, Congress faced this exact same predicament. Ultimately, thanks to your voices, they did the right thing -- but only after a great deal of bickering and political posturing that put the strength of our economy and the security of middle class families at risk. We can't go through that again.

Congress needs to stop this middle class tax hike from happening. Period. No drama. No delay. And no ideological side issues that have nothing to do with this tax cut. Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our recovery. Now is the time for common-sense action. And this tax cut is common-sense. If you're a family making about $50,000 a year, this tax cut amounts to about $1,000 a year. That's about $40 in every paycheck. I know there are some folks in this town who think $40 isn't a lot of money. But to a student or a senior who's trying to stretch the budget a little bit further? To a parent who's filling up the tank and looking at rising gas prices? To them, $40 can make all the difference in the world.

And so can your voice. I hope you'll pick up the phone, send a tweet, write an email, and tell your representative that they should get this done before it gets too late. Tell them not to play politics again by linking this debate to unrelated issues. Tell them not to manufacture another needless standoff or crisis. Tell them not to stand in the way of the recovery. Tell them to just do their job. That's what our middle class needs. That's what our country needs.

In the wake of the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, we're getting things going again. And we're going to keep at it until everyone shares in America's comeback.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.


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