July 9 White House Press Briefing

By The White House, The White House - July 9, 2012

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

See below for a follow up to questions (marked with asterisks) posed in the briefing.

*Per the Tax Policy Center, 2.7 percent of small business owners bring in over $250K in small business income.

1:22 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Thanks for being here.  Welcome to the White House for your daily briefing.  I have no announcements to make at the top, so I’ll just go right to your questions.


Q    Thanks, Jay.  The President laid out his plan today on taxes.  Republicans in Congress have said that they want to temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts across the board for all income groups.  If that bill were to reach the President’s desk, would he veto it?

MR. CARNEY:  Let me say a couple of things, Ken.  We have a lot of disagreement in Washington.  The President talks about it all the time -- the fact that we have a stalemate that has prevented us from doing some of the very important things we need to do to help grow the economy, to help it create more jobs, and to help make the middle class more secure. 

One thing that we all agree on -- virtually everyone in Washington, Democrats and Republicans -- is that the middle-class tax cuts should be extended.  We all agree.  That’s good for American families.  It’s good for the American economy.  That’s what the President announced today -- his absolute intention and willingness to sign a bill that would extend tax cuts for 98 percent of the American people.

If Republicans want to hold those tax cuts hostage to the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, including millionaires and billionaires, that seems pretty untenable.  That seems like a hard argument to make.  The President’s position is clear:  We should extend the tax cuts for the middle class, for 98 percent of Americans.  We should not extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans -- tax cuts for people who don’t need them and for whom it doesn’t even make a great deal of -- it doesn’t make economic sense to extend them.  As any economist whose PhD is worth the paper it is printed on will tell you, middle-class Americans -- hardworking, middle-class Americans, when they get that tax cut, it has a very positive and direct and immediate impact on the economy.  Wealthier Americans tend not to spend that.  And the cost, in terms of adding to our deficit, makes it a net loss.

So the President would sign tomorrow a bill that everybody agrees on -- extend the middle-class tax cuts.  He does not support extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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