WASHINGTON–U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Monday for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than US$250,000 a year, according to a White House official, seeking to spare the economy the impact of taxes going up on Jan. 1. Obama, a Democrat, will make the request in a statement at the White House, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Republicans in Congress, however, are unlikely to be swayed, as they have consistently argued that the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone.
Obama has made what he calls “tax fairness” a key feature of his campaign for re-election on Nov. 6, repeatedly urging Congress to make the tax cuts permanent for families making less than US$250,000 a year. The tax cuts enacted by Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, will expire on Jan. 1 without congressional action, part of a so-called fiscal cliff that potentially could hit the U.S. economy alongside deep automatic spending cuts. Analysts warn the impact of rising taxes and lower federal spending could tip the economy back into recession. Representative Tom Price, a member of the House Republican leadership, said earlier on the “Fox News Sunday” program that the House would pass legislation before the end of July to preserve the Bush tax cuts for another year.