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Obama to Urge Business Tax Rewrite to Help Spur New Jobs

July 30, 2013
white house government

In a speech later today, President Barack Obama will propose spending more on job creation efforts.

President Barack Obama, seeking to offer fresh economic proposals that could pass a gridlocked Congress, will call for a restructuring of business taxes so long as the initial revenue generated goes toward job creation.

Obama, in a speech later today in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will argue that years of budget fights have diverted attention from the need to help middle-income Americans recover from the recession, according to administration officials.

As an alternative to seeking quick passage of the deficit- reduction formula that has eluded lawmakers for two years --some combination of increased tax revenue and entitlement curbs -- Obama will propose spending more on job creation efforts. The initiatives would include help for manufacturing, worker training, and infrastructure improvements.

The programs would be funded with a one-time transition fee associated with the $2 trillion in foreign earnings that are currently held overseas, said an administration official who asked not to be identified to discuss details before the speech.

The officials declined to specify how much money would be generated and didn’t detail how it would be structured. The proposal marks a shift for Obama, who has previously called for rewriting individual and business income tax law together.

"The President will call on Washington to work on a grand bargain focused on middle class jobs by pairing reform of the business tax code with a significant investment in middle class jobs," said Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the president.


Eliminating Breaks


Obama, in February 2012, proposed reducing the top corporate rate for most companies to 28 percent from 35 percent. The plan would eliminate tax breaks and change core tax code features such as interest deductibility. He’s also proposed lowering the rate for manufacturers to 25 percent and expanding and making permanent the research-and-development tax credit.

Today’s speech, at an Inc. distribution center, is the latest in Obama’s campaign-style effort to turn attention back to the economy as he heads into fresh budget fights with Congress over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling.

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