U.S. President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to outline the benefits of a tax cut package he signed into law in December.
President Obama says the tax cut compromise reached with Republicans will help grow the U.S. economy.
“Independent experts have concluded that, taken together, this package of tax cuts will significantly accelerate the pace of our economic recovery, spurring additional jobs and growth,” said President Obama.
Mr. Obama encouraged business owners to take advantage of a new incentive included in the legislation that allows any business to write off the full cost of most of their capital investments for one year.
The president said this will make it more affordable for businesses to expand and hire, a goal he said should be the government’s focus in the coming months.
“Our fundamental mission must be to accelerate hiring and growth, while we do the things we know are necessary to insure America’s leadership in an increasingly competitive world and build an economy that will provide opportunity to any American willing to work for it,” added Obama.
He also said the package will result in higher paychecks for workers and more money for families, and benefit millions of students through a continued tuition tax credit.
Many Democrats in Congress had objected strongly to continuing all tax cuts for the richest Americans, and complained that Mr. Obama had sacrificed his principles to get an agreement.
But President Obama touted the achievement as a much-needed departure from partisan divisions and encouraged that to continue.
“What we can’t do is re-fight the battles of the past two years that distract us from the hard work of moving our economy forward,” Obama added. “What we can’t do is engage in the kinds of symbolic battles that so often consume Washington while the rest of America waits for us to solve problems.”
One battle is already underway. Republican lawmakers, who took control of the House of Representatives in the new Congress, are moving to try to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law.
New House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in this week’s Republican address that his party believes the key to real health care reform is to lower costs and improve access.
“The reality is that this trillion-dollar new government entitlement will lead to one-size-fits-all care and put our country on a path to bankruptcy,” said Cantor. “Republicans care about health care. We simply disagree that excessive government regulation and sweeping mandates on individuals and businesses are the right way to go about it.”
The repeal effort is expected to fail, as Democratic leaders in the Senate promise they will block it. But Republicans may succeed in cutting off funding for parts of the legislation.