Tuesday, September 18, 2012

President Obama on Reforming the Tax Code

September 17, 2012

Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing.  I understand the strong views many Americans have about taxes, and I appreciate your perspective.

This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it.  I will not stop fighting to build an economy that works for everyone—an economy supported by a tax code that reflects the enduring American values of hard work, fair play, and shared responsibility.

Since I took office, my Administration has implemented numerous tax cuts for individuals, families, and businesses.  The Recovery Act provided a tax cut to 95 percent of American workers, assisting 120 million families.  In February, I signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which extended the payroll tax cut, ensuring no working American will see their taxes go up this year.  This extension prevents working families from losing an average of $40 per paycheck and enables them to keep about $1,000 of their hard-earned money in 2012.  Further tax relief I enacted helps college students, seniors, and first-time homebuyers.  And to uphold our commitments to service members, I signed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors tax credits into law, rewarding companies that hire our Nation’s unemployed and disabled veterans.

I am ready to reform our tax code to eliminate decades of accumulated loopholes for the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations, special interest carve-outs, and other tax expenditures that stack the deck against small business owners and ordinary families.  For too long, our tax code has benefited the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the majority of Americans.  That is why I am committed to making our tax system fairer for the middle class and to ensuring everyone pays their fair share and plays by the same rules.  I have urged Congress to enact the Buffett Rule, which would prevent millionaires and billionaires from using loopholes and special tax breaks to pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class families.  As we all come together to make shared sacrifices and crucial investments to grow our economy, we cannot afford to continue allowing some of the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying their fair share.  To learn about our efforts to extend tax cuts for the middle class, please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/Infographics/Extending-Middle-Class-Tax-Cuts.

Our current corporate tax system is outdated, unfair, and inefficient.  It provides tax breaks for moving jobs overseas.  It is unnecessarily complicated and forces America’s small businesses to spend countless hours and dollars filing their taxes.  That is why my Administration released a framework for reform that simplifies the tax code, eliminates dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, and promotes job creation right here at home.  To increase competitiveness for companies across our Nation, our framework lowers the corporate tax rate, cuts tax rates further for manufacturers who are creating new products here in America, and includes a basic minimum tax for every multinational company—because no company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits out of the United States.  I have also repeatedly called on Congress to stop giving away $4 billion a year in oil subsidies to an industry that has never been more profitable, and instead pass clean energy tax credits to cultivate a market for innovation in clean energy technology.

The American story is not about what we can do on our own; it is about what we can accomplish together.  Our Nation’s success is possible only because previous generations sacrificed to make investments on our behalf.  We must now join together in the same spirit of mutual responsibility to do what is right for our country’s future.  To learn more about my tax reform plans, please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/economy/reform/tax-reform.

Thank you, again, for writing.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama


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