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PICKET: White House - Obama has no new tax cut plan for middle class

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The White House does not have a new middle class tax cut plan reports Reuters

President Barack Obama will continue to push for middle-class tax cuts as part of his economic agenda, but the White House is not considering a specific new tax cut plan at this time, a spokesman for Obama said on Saturday.

“Moving forward, the president does believe that cutting taxes for middle class families is an important part of his economic agenda. It is something he’ll continue to push for,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

He denied a Washington Post report that said the Obama administration is considering a tax cut to increase workers’ take-home pay and replace the payroll tax reduction set to expire at the end of the year.

The Post said administration officials believed the economy could use further stimulus despite signs of improvement and were looking at a new tax reduction that could add hundreds of dollars to employees’ annual pay and show up in every paycheck.

Earnest said the report was incorrect.

“The administration is not contemplating at this time a tax cut as described in the Post,” Earnest told reporters. “I’m not trying to be clever. I’m trying to be as clear as I can.”

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the White House was considering the idea of proposing a tax cut that would hike Americans’ take home pay: 

Obama administration officials have concluded that the economy, while improved, is still fragile enough that it may need another bout of stimulus. The tax cut could replace the payroll tax cut championed by President Obama in 2011 and 2012, which was designed as a buffer against economic shocks such as the financial crisis in Europe and high oil prices. It expires at year’s end.

The new tax cut could provide hundreds of dollars or more a year to workers and show up in every paycheck. It may be similar to a tax cut Americans received in 2009 and 2010, which provided up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples, sources close to the administration said.

The administration’s work on the proposal comes as each presidential candidate is under intense pressure to demonstrate he has the better tax plan. During the campaign, Obama has insisted that he wants to keep taxes from rising for the middle class while increasing them on the wealthy as a way of shoring up the country’s finances. His challenger, Mitt Romney, has sharply criticized Obama’s approach, saying any new taxes would crimp economic growth, while also calling the White House’s earlier stimulus efforts a failure. 

Perhaps another failed trial balloon from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? 

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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