Obama pushes tax incentives

10:03, September 09, 2010      

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US President Barack Obama pushed billions of dollars in new business tax incentives and spending on big construction projects Wednesday, trying to convince a balky Congress to pass measures intended to spur the economy and create jobs.

Obama traveled to Ohio to tout programs that include accelerating $200 billion in business tax write-offs, which the White House says would eventually cost just $30 billion, an infrastructure spending boost of at least $50 billion, and increasing and permanently extending a tax credit for research and development costing $100 billion over 10 years.

Obama's speech is expected to be strongly political, and it comes less than two months before congressional elections when his Democrats face the threat of big losses. He was seen couching his economic plans as an expression of his values, favoring the middle class over the wealthiest Americans and big corporate interests such as oil and gas companies.

"These measures will help create jobs while building an American economy that is more competitive and productive over the long term," Obama's communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, said in a White House blog.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs acknowledged that Cleveland was selected as the venue for Obama's speech because House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio had made a speech there last month calling on Obama to fire his economic team.

Boehner, going on the offensive ahead of Obama's speech, called Wednesday for a two-year freeze on all current US tax rates, including Bush-era tax cuts for the rich that are set to expire at the end of this year.

Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" show, Boehner also proposed that the government cut spending for next year to 2008 levels, before the controversial federal bailouts and Obama's $814 billion stimulus plan.

Republican leaders are skeptical about Obama's proposals, saying they are reluctant to back more spending because the $814 billion stimulus Obama got through Congress in early 2009 has not had the desired effect.

Source: Global Times


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