REMEMBER THOSE TAX CUTS?…. April 15 comes this week, so taxes will no doubt be on the minds of many. President Obama used his weekly address to remind the public about a little detail that usually goes overlooked: he cut taxes.
“All across America are good, decent folks who meet their obligations each and every day,” the president said. “They work hard. They support their families. They try to make an honest living the best they can. And this weekend, many are sitting down to pay the taxes they owe — not because it’s fun, but because it’s a fundamental responsibility of our citizenship. But in tough times, when many families are having trouble just making it all work, Tax Day can seem even more daunting. This year, however, many Americans are seeing some welcome relief.
“So far, Americans who have filed their taxes have discovered that the average refund is up nearly ten percent this year — to an all-time high of about $3,000. This is due in large part to the Recovery Act. In fact, one-third of the Recovery Act was made up of tax cuts — tax cuts that have already provided more than $160 billion in relief for families and businesses, and nearly $100 billion of that directly into the pockets of working Americans.
“No one I’ve met is looking for a handout. And that’s not what these tax cuts are. Instead, they’re targeted relief to help middle class families weather the storm, to jumpstart our economy, and to bring the fundamentals of the American Dream — making an honest living, earning an education, owning a home, and raising a family — back within reach for millions of Americans.”
Obama went on to describe, in some detail, all of the tax-cut measures he’s approved, including the Making Work Pay tax credit that started last year, the American Opportunity Credit to help defray the costs of college tuition, new tax breaks for first-time home buyers, new tax breaks for those who invest in making their homes more energy efficient, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, allowing more families to qualify for the Child Tax Credit, and new tax credits for the unemployed.
The president may need to repeat the message a few more times as the midterm elections draw closer — a recent NYT/CBS poll asked Americans if they think the Obama Administration increased taxes, decreased taxes, or have they kept taxes the same. Only 12% accurately noted that taxes have done down; twice as many (24%) mistakenly said the opposite.
It’s hard for a president and his party to get credit for cutting taxes when so many have forgotten what’s already happened.