President Barack Obama, eager to shift election-year attention away from the nation's lackluster jobs market, called on Congress Monday to extend tax cuts for only low and middle income earners while allowing taxes to increase for families that make more than $250,000 a year.
Obama wants Congress to pass a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 before they expire at the end of the year. He said the outcome of his November election contest with Republican rival Mitt Romney would then determine the fate of the tax cuts for higher income earners.
But Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) disagreed, saying: "Today's announcement is further evidence of just how out-of-touch the president is with reality ... Our country has just had the worst quarter for job growth in two years, with millions of Americans still out of work, yet this president insists on raising taxes on those who create roughly 70 percent of all new jobs in America today. Continuing failed policies, like this tax hike, hurts our small businesses and families and creates an unprecedented level of uncertainty that has stifled economic growth and quelled job creation."
"In New York, when you add in rising property taxes, the price of tolls and mass transit, water rates and all the other direct and indirect taxes and fees imposed in New York City, those making $250,000 are a far cry from the wealthy billionaires that President Obama claims to be targeting," added Grimm. "They are hard-working families with mortgage payments and tuition bills for their children's education."