President Obama late Monday night announced a “bipartisan” agreement that would extend a series of Bush-era tax cuts another two years in exchange for 13 additional months of extended unemployment insurance for some of the jobless.
The proposed compromise comes after a several-month stalemate by Republicans refusing to extend jobless benefits for millions of unemployed Americans because they claimed the country could not afford it. The same Congressional members had no problem demanding an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy which would add an additional $65 billion to the federal budget deficit each year. The tax cuts are scheduled to expire December 31st.
While stating that he’d prefer to let the tax cuts expire for the wealthy but continue for the middle class only, President Obama said he was unwilling to let working families become “collateral damage for political warfare” in Washington.
The deal includes a two-percent payroll tax credit for employees and tax breaks for families and students. It allows businesses to write off purchases of outdated equipment. And, it also includes a two-year estate tax set at 35 percent.