I hope you had a lovely holiday and all is well. I’m writing with a quick update on the “fiscal cliff” and how you can get involved.
The Senate has passed a bill that stops taxes from going up for 98 percent of American families, and asks those who can afford it to pay a little more. If the House follows suit, President Obama is ready to sign it as soon as it hits his desk.
If they fail to do so, a typical middle-class family of four will see their taxes go up by $2,000 in just a few short weeks.
President Obama is asking Congress to do the right thing and act before the New Year, but he needs our help. We’ve got a good track record here: When we make our voices heard and urge Congress to take action — whether it’s about health care, student loans, Wall Street reform, or “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — they listen.
For more than 19 months, President Obama campaigned on the idea that if we’re going to be successful, every American has to do their part and pay their fair share.
A centerpiece of his platform, and the campaign you built, was that income taxes should not go up on the middle class — that the responsible way to pay down the deficit, while investing in education, job training, research, and science, is to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more.
None of this is a surprise to anyone in Washington. They heard the same arguments we did — they paid attention to the campaign, and then they saw a clear majority of voters deliver a verdict on November 6th.
If and when the House passes this bill, 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses will not see a tax increase.
Your story matters and Congress needs to hear it.
President Obama speaks to the American people from a busy factory floor in Pennsylvania about the urgent need to pass the middle class tax cuts, which will give families and businesses preparing for the holidays the certainty they need going into the New Year.
Democrats and Republicans must come together to pass one thing that everyone agrees on—extending income tax cuts for 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses, and there is no reason to wait. The President urges Congress to take action to help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.
In Case You Missed It
Here’s a quick glimpse at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
#My2k: This week, President Obama called on the American people to speak out in favor of keeping taxes low on the middle class. He explained:
If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can’t afford that right now.
The President asked the American people to speak loudly by sharing what $2,000 means to them online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #My2k. Here’s how to get involved:
- Join the conversation and share your story
- Read what others are saying about what $2,000 means to them
Holidays at the White House: Earlier this week, the First Lady previewed the 2012 White House holiday decorations, showcasing this year’s theme: “Joy to All.” The decorations embrace several beloved White House traditions, including 54 decorated trees throughout the residence and a White House gingerbread house. The First Lady explained that this year’s theme “celebrated the many joys of the holiday season: the joy of giving and service to others; the joy of sharing our blessings with one another; and, of course, the joy of welcoming friends and family as guests into our home over these next several weeks.”
- Watch Bo Inspect the 2012 White House Holiday Decorations
- Read First Lady Michelle Obama Receives the 2012 White House Christmas Tree
- Visit WhiteHouse.gov/holidays
President Obama Welcomes Mexico President-Elect: On Tuesday, President Obama welcomed President-elect of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto to the Oval Office. They discussed the close relationship between Mexico and the United States, and the President noted that President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto’s reform agenda is one that Americans will watch closely.
Cabinet Meeting: On Wednesday, the President held a Cabinet meeting—the first one since the election. He first thanked Cabinet members for doing “a remarkable job on behalf of the American people,” and reminded them there’s still much work to be done.
Vice President Biden Goes to Costco: On Thursday, the Vice President visited the newly opened Costco in Washington, DC. After picking out a few Christmas presents and other items, he spoke about the importance of extending tax cuts for middle-class families.
World AIDS Day 2012: Today, to commemorate World AIDS Day, the White House hosted a special office hour session with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Gayle Smith, Senior Director, National Security Council, to answer questions on Twitter about the Obama administration’s role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Learn more about how the White House is honoring World AIDS Day 2012 here.