President Obama Weekly
Address: Working Together to Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts
November 19, 2012
In this weekís
address, President Obama urges Congress to act now on one thing that
everyone agrees on -- ensuring that taxes donít go up on 98 percent of
all Americans and 97 percent of small businesses at the end of the year.
On Friday, the President had a constructive meeting with Congressional
leaders on finding ways to reduce our deficit in a way that strengthens
our economy and protects our middle class, and he looks forward to
working together to get this done.
Four years after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, our economy
is growing again and creating jobs. But we have much more to do. Our
task now is to build on that progress. Because this nation only succeeds
when weíve got a growing, thriving middle class.
Thatís what drives me. Thatís what I campaigned on for the past year.
Thatís what will guide me in our work over the next four years. And Iím
willing to work with anyone of any party to move this country forward.
Because soon, we face a very clear deadline that requires us to make
some big decisions on jobs and taxes; on investments and deficits. Both
parties voted to set this deadline. And I believe both parties can work
together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way.
When it comes to taxes, for example, there are two pathways available.
One says, if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, then
everybodyís taxes automatically go up Ė including the 98% of Americans
who make less than $250,000 a year. Our economy canít afford that right
now. You canít afford that right now. And nobody wants that to happen.
The other path is for Congress to pass a law right away to prevent a tax
hike on the first $250,000 of anyoneís income. That means all Americans
Ė including the wealthiest Americans Ė get a tax cut. And 98 percent of
Americans, and 97 percent of all small business owners, wonít see their
income taxes go up a single dime.
The Senate has already passed a bill like this. Democrats in the House
are ready to pass one, too. All we need is for Republicans in the House
to come on board.
We shouldnít hold the middle class hostage while Congress debates tax
cuts for the wealthy. Letís begin our work by actually doing what we all
agree on. Letís keep taxes low for the middle class. And letís get it
done soon Ė so we can give families and businesses some good news going
into the holiday season.
I know these challenges wonít be easy to solve. But we can do it if we
Thatís why on Friday I sat down with Congressional leaders to discuss
how we can reduce our deficit in a way that strengthens our economy and
protects our middle class. It was a constructive meeting. And everyone
agreed that while we may have our differences, we need to come together,
find solutions and take action as soon as possible.
Because if anything, thatís the message I heard loud and clear in the
Work as hard as you can to make our lives better. And do it together.
Donít worry about the politics. Just get the job done.
I went in that campaign Ė from farms in Iowa to the Vegas strip; from
Coloradoís Rockies to the Florida coast Ė I was inspired by the grit and
resilience of the American people, by your hard work and sense of
decency. And it makes me want to work even harder for you. I saw it
again this week in New York, where our fellow citizens are going through
a really tough time, but are helping each other through it. And weíre
going to be there to help them rebuild.
Every single day, the good people of this country work as hard as you
can to meet your responsibilities. Those of us you sent to Washington
are going to do the same.