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The President's Weekly Address

July 28, 2012

This week, the Senate passed a plan that I proposed a few weeks ago to protect middle class Americans and virtually every small-business owner from getting hit with a big tax hike next year, a tax hike of $2,200 for the typical family.

Now it comes down to this: If 218 Members of the House vote the right way, 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small-business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year. That certainty means something to a middle class family who's already stretched the budget as far as it can go. It means something to a small-business owner who's trying to plan ahead. That's security at a time when folks could use some security.

And here's the thing: Everyone in Washington says they agree on this. Everyone says they agree that we should extend the tax cuts for the middle class. When Democrats and Republicans agree on something, it should be pretty easy to get it done. But right now that's not the case. Instead of doing what's right for middle class families and small-business owners, Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

You see, Republicans in Congress and their nominee for President believe that the best way to create prosperity in America is to let it trickle down from the top. They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we'll somehow create jobs, even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training and by raising middle class taxes.

They're wrong. And I know they're wrong because we already tried it that way for most of the last decade. It didn't work. We're still paying for trillions of dollars of tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else, tax cuts that didn't lead to the middle class jobs or higher wages we were promised and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits.

We can't afford more top-down economics. What we need are policies that will grow and strengthen the middle class, that will help create jobs, make education and training more affordable, and encourage businesses to start up and stay right here in the United States. That's why I've cut middle class taxes every year that I've been President, by $3,600 for the typical family. That's why I've cut taxes for small businesses 18 times. And that's why I'm calling on 218 Members of the House to do their jobs and not raise taxes on the middle class.

As soon as they pass that bill, I'll sign it right away. And in the meantime, I'm going to keep fighting for an economy where we're not just putting folks back to work, but making sure that work pays off, an economy where every American—no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from—can have the confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Note: The address was recorded at approximately 3:40 p.m. on July 27 in the Diplomatic Room at the White House for broadcast on July 28. In the address, the President referred to Republican Presidential candidate former Gov. W. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. He also referred to S. 3412. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 27, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on July 28.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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