Saturday 24 March 2018

Obama attacks Republican 'Scrooges' over $2,000 tax hike

Jon Swaine Hatfield, Pennsylvania

BARACK OBAMA has accused Republicans of being the "Ebenezer Scrooges" of Washington who would ruin Christmas for US families by allowing their income taxes to rise by $2,000 (€1,542) in the new year.

After shocking them with a bold opening gambit in talks to stop the US falling off the "fiscal cliff", the US president attacked Republican leaders for blocking a deal to freeze taxes on 98pc of Americans.

"If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1," he told a crowd at a toy factory in Pennsylvania. "I'm assuming that doesn't sound too good to you. That's the lump of coal Christmas – the Scrooge Christmas."

Mr Obama and opposition leaders are trying to thrash out a plan to replace across-the-board tax hikes and $600bn in spending cuts scheduled to start on January 1 – the "fiscal cliff" that economists say could throw the US back into recession.

While the president is willing to sign a short-term deal to stop taxes rising for all households earning up to $250,000, Republicans refuse to support this because it would raise tax rates for the two per cent of Americans earning more.

"It's not acceptable to me – and I don't think it's acceptable to you – for a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage, simply because they don't want tax raises on upper-income folks," Mr Obama told supporters last night. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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