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Obama Live September 8 2011 pushes Congress to act now on economy - politics - White House

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Uploaded on Sep 8, 2011

Obama Live September 8 2011 pushes Congress to act now on economy - politics - White House WASHINGTON — Calling it an "urgent time for our country," President Barack Obama asked Congress on Thursday night to "stop the political circus" and approve a nearly half-trillion-dollar plan to help the economy by cutting payroll taxes, raising taxes on the wealthy and rewarding companies that hire new workers.

"We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless and a political crisis that has made things worse," Obama said in an address to a joint session of Congress.

To answer that crisis, Obama was proposing what he called the American Jobs Act, which he said would cut payroll taxes in half for working Americans and most small businesses; boost spending on public works, like roads, by $105 billion; and make permanent a temporary cut in the individual tax rate, which was reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for this year only. 1. Other political news of note 1. First Read: The CBO and short-term fixes The Congressional Budget Office released a report in January that looks at some of the short-term policies the president might ask Congress to enact in his speech Thursday night. 2. Analysis: Perry takes the heat but keeps on smiling 3. Perry's Merck link in spotlight following vaccine order 4. Payroll tax cut likely hub of Obama's jobs plan 5. Congressional debt reduction panel kicks off

Obama calculated that the "typical working family" would get a $1,500 tax cut and that small companies with 50 employees would save $80,000, which he said would "provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled."

Obama didn't say how much the plan would cost, but advisers told NBC News it would run about $450 billion. Obama said he hopes to pay for it by closing corporate tax "loopholes" and by raising taxes on wealthier Americans.

"We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake and everybody pays their fair share," he said. "And I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order."

Earlier this summer, Republicans forced a partial government shutdown over their refusal to raise any taxes at all, but Obama told them they should "pass this jobs plan right away," because "the millions of Americans who are watching right now, they don't care about politics. They have real-life concerns."
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Aides told NBC News that a key point of Obama's address was that the measure simply wraps in a variety of deficit-reduction and jobs proposals that have drawn support in the past from both parties.

Obama made the same argument, telling lawmakers there was "nothing controversial about this piece of legislation."

"Everything in here is the kind of proposal that's been supported by both Democrats and Republicans," he said.

Obama challenges Congress
Obama promised to release a detailed plan Monday.

In its latest budgetary outlook, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the federal deficits fiscal year 2011, which ends Sept. 30, at $1.28 trillion, down about $10 billion from last year. A bipartisan congressional debt committee met for a first time Thursday , assigned with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions.

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