Obama announces plans for tax cut extension on eve of Cedar Rapids visit


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President Obama announced Monday he plans to extend tax cuts for middle-class families through 2013, and voices from each end of the political spectrum offered praise and criticism of the move.

"… Pass a bill extending the tax cuts for the middle class; I will sign it tomorrow. Pass it next week; I'll sign it next week. Pass it next — well, you get the idea," Obama said in a speech on Monday, addressing U.S. lawmakers.

Iowa Democratic Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said the tax cuts will ultimately benefit the economy.

"The president is urging Congress to extend tax cuts for the middle class and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share because he believes we need to grow the economy from the middle class out," she said in a statement. "Meanwhile, Mitt Romney just today said he opposes the president's call to extend middle-class tax cuts in favor of a $5 trillion plan that we can't afford and benefits only the wealthiest Americans."

Monday's announcement came just before Obama's visit today to Kirkwood Community College where he is expected to address supporters and speak about the economy.

Since Obama has been in office, he has cut taxes each year by approximately $3,600 for the "typical" middle class family.

Obama said when Congress passed tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans, the country did not see the expected job growth the tax cuts were meant to provide.

"… The wealthy got wealthier, but most Americans struggled. Instead of creating more jobs, we had the slowest job growth in half a century," he said in the speech. "Instead of widespread prosperity, the typical family saw its income fall."

Not everyone was in favor of Obama's plans to cut taxes.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney countered Obama's tax cut with his own plan to create more jobs and save money.

"President Obama's response to even more bad economic news is a massive tax increase," said Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokeswoman. "It just proves again that the president doesn't have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class. The president's latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators, and small businesses. Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands that the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone. He has a plan to permanently lower marginal rates, help middle-class Americans save and invest, and jump-start economic growth and job creation."

Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said the tax cuts in 2013 will ultimately result in an increase in 2014.

"Iowans, not government bureaucrats, are best able to decide how to spend their hard earned money," he said in a statement. "The only way to grow our economy and reduce unemployment is to cut spending, simplify our tax code and reduce regulations on businesses so they can expand and hire American workers."

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