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Obama presses payroll tax holiday

Nov. 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM
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MANCHESTER, N.H., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- President Obama Tuesday called on Congress to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut following the supercommittee's failure to whack the U.S. deficit.

Obama traveled to Manchester, N.H., site of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, to criticize Congress and push his American Jobs Act, most of which has been languishing on Capitol Hill since mid-September.

In a speech at Manchester High School before about 1,300 people, Obama contended with hecklers yelling, "Over 4,000 people protesting." They were shouted down with chants of "Obama, Obama, Obama."

Obama noted the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach agreement on at least $1.2 trillion in budget deficit reduction measures in the next decade will mean payroll taxes will increase by about $1,000 a year for the typical household unless Congress acts before the end of the year.

"This payroll tax [moratorium] is set to expire at the end of next month. End of next month, end of the year, this tax cut ends. And if we allow that to happen -- if Congress refuses to act -- then middle-class families are going to get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time," Obama said.

Before heading for the high school, Obama and his entourage stopped at Julien's Corner Kitchen where the president had a lunch meeting with the Corkery family to discuss extending and expanding the payroll tax cut.

Obama Monday blamed the supercommittee's failure on Republican insistence "on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research -- even if it means deep cuts in Medicare."

He added: "Before Congress leaves next month, we have to work together to cut taxes for workers and small business owners all across America. If we don't act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year. And I'm not about to let that happen."

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