SCRANTON, Pa., Nov. 30 (UPI) — President Obama, speaking in Scranton, Pa., asked supporters to tell Congress to pass the American Jobs Act and “don’t be a Grinch.”
“Two months ago, I sent a particular piece of legislation to Congress called the American Jobs Act. This is a jobs bill that will put more Americans to work, put more money back in the pockets of working families,” Obama said at Scranton High School.
“When this jobs bill came to a vote, Republicans in the Senate got together and they blocked it. They refused to even debate it. Even though polls showed that two-thirds of Americans of all political stripes supported the ideas in this bill, not one single Republican stepped up to say, this is the right thing to do,” Obama said.
“But here’s the good news, Scranton. Just like you don’t quit, I don’t quit. I don’t quit. So I said, look, I’m going to do everything that I can do without Congress to get things done.”
Obama touted new policies reforming student loan programs and helping families refinance their mortgages, as well as helping returning veterans find jobs.
“There’s a lot more to do, though, if we’re going to get every American back to work who wants to work, and to rebuild an economy that works for every American, which is why we’re going to give Congress another chance to do the right thing with the American Job Act. We’re going to give them another chance to help working families like yours,” Obama said.
“Your taxes today — the average middle-class family, your taxes today are lower than when I took office, just remember that. We have cut taxes for small businesses not once, not twice, but 17 times. The average family’s tax burden is among the lowest it’s been in the last 60 years,” Obama said, adding if Republicans vote against the latest version of the jobs act, they will be voting to raise taxes on the middle class.
If, for example, Congress does not pass the payroll tax cut extension, it would be “a massive blow for the economy, because we’re not fully out of the recession yet. Don’t take my word for it; this is what every independent economist says. We can’t let this tax cut lapse right now,” he said.
“I hope that they [Congress] don’t want to just score political points. I hope that they want to help the economy.”
Obama said the richest Americans need to pay more in taxes to pay for middle-class tax cuts.
“Let’s ask the folks who’ve seen their incomes rise fastest, who’ve gotten bigger tax breaks under Bush, let’s ask them to help out a little bit, because they made it better through the recession than most of us. Let’s ask them to contribute a little bit more to get the economy going again. …
“To everybody who is here, everybody who is watching, send your Senate a message — send your senators a message. Tell them, ‘Don’t be a Grinch.’ Don’t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays.”