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AP - Obama Economic Plan Includes Tax Breaks

News Article

Location: Washington, DC

AP - Obama Economic Plan Includes Tax Breaks

Nedra Pickler

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is proposing more than $80 billion in annual tax relief for workers and seniors funded by an increase on wealthier investors.

Obama wants to give 150 million working Americans a $500 tax credit, expand relief for homeowners, eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 and simplify tax returns so millions of Americans can file in less than five minutes, according to a summary document provided by his campaign.

Obama's campaign said he would pay for his proposals by closing corporate tax loopholes, fighting international tax havens and raising the top rate on capital gains and dividends. But the campaign did not provide specifics in advance about how high the rate would be raised or how much income each of those proposals would generate.

Obama was scheduled to announce the breaks in Washington on Tuesday as part of his new push on economic policy. The speech was coming a day after the Illinois senator told Wall Street investors that they need to reappraise values that focus on their own gains at the expense of struggling Americans.

"To get through these uncertain times, we have to recognize that we all have a stake in one another's success," Obama said in speech text prepared for delivery at a Washington hotel. "When folks are hurting out there on Main Street, that's not good for Wall Street. When the changes in our economy are leaving too many people behind, the competitiveness of our country risks falling behind."

Obama's tax plan began with a "Making Work Pay" credit that would offset payroll taxes on the first $8,100 of earnings, generating up to $500 per person or $1,000 per family. The campaign said that would eliminate income taxes for 10 million low-income Americans.

Obama said more Americans who own their homes should get relief from mortgage payments. The current mortgage interest deduction only goes to those who itemize their taxes, while Obama would create a universal mortgage credit of 10 percent of interest payments that the campaign says would benefit an additional 10 million homeowners.

The campaign said Obama's plan to eliminate taxes on seniors making less than $50,000 annually would mean 22 million elderly Americans would no longer need to file an income tax return or hire a tax preparer.

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