Obama touts tax cuts in stimulus package

April 10, 2010 at 9:25 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- With Tax Day looming, U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday touted tax credits included in the economic stimulus measure.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said the tax breaks in the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress last year would be available to more than 100 million Americans.

He said the average tax refund is up nearly 10 percent this year, to about $3,000, largely because of the stimulus measure.

Obama urged Americans to take advantage of tax credits for costs including first-time home purchases, college expenses, energy-efficient home projects and childcare.

"No one I've met is looking for a handout, and that's not what these tax cuts are," Obama said. "Instead, they're targeted relief to help middle-class families weather the storm, to jumpstart our economy and to bring the fundamentals of the American Dream -- making an honest living, earning an education, owning a home, and raising a family -- back within reach for millions of Americans."

He said the stimulus had already provided $160 billion in tax relief for families and businesses.

"I kept a promise I made when I campaigned for this office and cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans," Obama said. "One thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000. That's another promise we've kept."

The president also said a new interactive tool, the Recovery Act Tax Savings Tool, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/recovery/tax-saving-tool, would help people find out exactly what they're owed by the government.

"The big guys know how to find their tax breaks; it's time you did, too," Obama said.

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