Obama pushes tax breaks

President Barack Obama (AP)

Just ahead of Tax Day, President Barack Obama is urging Americans to take advantage of tax credits for first-time homebuyers, college students and others.

Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to promote some of the tax benefits in last year’s stimulus bill, saying they could save people hundreds or even thousands of dollars and were available to more than 100 million Americans. Even those who file before the April 15 deadline can amend their returns if there are savings they missed, Obama noted.

“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 jump-start 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.”

Credits taxpayers may be eligible for include:

_Up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers. The credit will be available through the end of April.

_Up to $2,500 for college expenses.

_Up to $1,500 for making energy-efficiency improvements to homes.

_For new vehicles purchased between Feb. 17-Dec. 31, 2009, the state and local taxes can be deducted.

_An expanded child tax credit providing $1,000 for each child under 17.

_The earned income tax credit now provides up to $5,657 to low-income families with at least three children.

Many workers have already received, through adjusted withholding in their paychecks, the “Making Work Pay” credit of as much as $800 for couples and $400 for individuals. For those who haven’t yet received the full amount due, they will get the additional money when they file.

Those who already have the full amount must claim the credit on their return. Due to an IRS glitch, however, some workers will owe money; in some cases, withholding tables gave people more than they should have received.

In their weekly address, Republicans accused Obama of raising taxes and expanding government too much with the health care bill and other initiatives.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., noted that taxes would rise Jan. 1, when President George W. Bush‘s tax cuts expire.

“So, these are two Republican ideas: first, reining in Washington spending; second, keeping taxes at a manageable level. If we do these two things, private businesses and American families will be able to save, invest and plan for the future,” Kyl said.

Obama wants to extend Bush’s tax cuts, except for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples making $250,000.

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On the Net:

Obama address: http://www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/user/gopweeklyaddress

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8 Responses to "Obama pushes tax breaks"

  1. griff  April 10, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Ha. Notice the first four items require you to spend or borrow significant amounts of money to be eligible. All the tax credits do is reduce your taxable income, but they make it sound like you get all that money back.

    Our refund was $4400.00 less than it was last year. Tax breaks?!

  2. Guardhouse lawyer  April 10, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    “All the tax credits do is reduce your taxable income,”

    That is just plain not correct.

    Tax credits directly reduce one’s tax liability.

    • griff  April 11, 2010 at 2:36 am

      Touche’. That’s why I pay a professional to do my taxes. But either way, these credits are meaningless to most people. I already own my home, which is 6 years old and already energy-efficient. I own both of my vehicles and my son turned 17 in December. We have never paid so much in taxes and received so little back than we did this year. If I didn’t have a home office and use my own vehicle for work, we would have owed money.

      And as usual, the government considers taking on more debt a “jump-start” to the economy. For the banksters and China, perhaps.

      Meanwhile, property taxes are rising even as property values plummet, taxes and fees on every thing else are increasing, salaries are stagnant or falling (except for CEO’s), prices are rising due to monetary inflation (they have to print money because our taxes don’t even cover the interest on our debt) , and people like myself are footing the bill for all these government handouts.

      And let’s not forget the billions upon billions in corporate and personal tax revenue that goes uncollected due to loopholes and shelters. I wonder what that would do for the economy?

      I would like my seventeen thousand dollars back. I am not being represented in Washington. If Washington really wants to jump-start the economy, they should suspend the income tax entirely.

      • logtroll  April 11, 2010 at 8:39 am

        This link to a FiveThirtyEight article sheds a bit more analytical light on our collective T.E.A. confabulation:

        http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/04/jonah-goldberg-anti-maldistributionist.html

        Enjoy!

        • griff  April 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm

          I’m afraid I don’t buy into the notion that government should be responsible for wealth redistribution. This article and statistics used leave much out of the equation.

          For instance, it doesn’t take into account the fact that we run huge budget deficits, meaning all these government programs are not paid for by taxes but by printing money, which in itself leads to price inflation – basically a tax on money. So one can argue that, based on tax income alone, we get a lot of government for our taxes, but again fails to account for the fact that the income tax receipts doesn’t even come close to paying for this “effective and efficient” government, which is a laughable suggestion in itself.

          Again, the income tax does not fund our government – it doesn’t even cover the interest on our national debt, which now stands at 12.8 trillion dollars.

          So who gets all this government largesse? Who are the beneficiaries of this redistribution?

          My sister-in-law’s family owns and operates a cash-and-carry wholesale market in Syracuse, NY. She related to me a story of one customer she deals with weekly. Gold teeth, the latest electronic gadgets and phones, drives a tricked-out gas-guzzling Escalade, adorned with all manner of bling – and pays for her groceries with her welfare card, that at the time had a three thousand dollar account balance. One example among dozens she sees every week.

          I guess it’s too much to ask that they use their drug profits to pay for their food.

          My wife manages a bank and could tell you similar stories. As it turns out, these kinds of scammers are usually the most abrasive and demanding customers, never happy and always expecting some thing for no thing. It really warms one’s heart to know that she works ten hours a day and every other Saturday and gets verbally accosted and threatened in several different languages all day long to make all this possible.

          • Carl Nemo  April 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

            An interesting read Griff. Also it’s these same aggressive, on the dole types that will become societal piranhas once the balloon goes up.

            They’ll be rioting in the streets, looting stores and killing gas station attendants for giggles if they can’t continue to support their “playing the edge” lifestyle.

            Washington has nurtured an indigent “beast” with its “Great Society” scam of the past 40 years and in the end these freeloaders are going to become our worst nightmare when they can no longer get handouts due to the terminal insolvency of this nation.

            Carl Nemo **==

  3. Carl Nemo  April 10, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Rather than splitting tax code jargon hairs I thought I’d supply some meat and potatoes descriptors of the difference between tax deductions, credits and the meaning of tax liability.

    Tax credits are powerful because they come off the top of your gross income from all sources which lowers your tax liability relative to the tables or calculations based on one’s tax bracket. Credits, unlike deductions are not linked to one’s tax bracket, which only allow a percentage to be deducted less than the 100% allowed for a credit from the gross unadjusted income.

    ***

    What Does Tax Liability Mean?
    The total amount of tax that an entity is legally obligated to pay to an authority as the result of the occurrence of a taxable event. Tax liability can be calculated by applying the appropriate tax rate to the taxable event’s tax base. Taxable events include, but are not limited to, annual income, the sale of an asset, a fiscal year-end or an inheritance. …extract from Investopedia.com

    Explanation of a tax credit vs. a tax deduction

    http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/ask/archive/2007/q0319.htm

    I thought this info would be helpful since we are now in the countdown mode to April 15. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Almandine  April 11, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    No matter the term… you pay, they take.

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