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White House considers package of business tax breaks to spur hiring

Anne E. Kornblut and Lori Montgomery
The Washington Post

With less than two months until the November elections, the White House is seriously weighing a package of business tax breaks – potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars – to spur hiring and combat Republican charges that Democratic tax policies hurt small businesses, according to people with knowledge of the deliberations.

Among the options under consideration are a temporary payroll-tax holiday and a permanent extension of the now-expired research-and-development tax credit, which rewards companies that conduct research into new technologies within the United States.

Administration officials have struggled to develop new economic policies and an effective message to blunt expected Republican gains in Congress and defuse complaints from Democrats that President Barack Obama is fumbling the issue most important to voters. After weeks of vacation and foreign policy, White House advisers have arranged a series of economic events for Obama next week, including two trips to swing states and a news conference.



“We’ll continue to do everything we can, understanding that recovery will require persistent effort. There are no silver bullets,” senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said in an interview Thursday. “At the same time, we have to make clear our ideas and theirs, and the fact that the Washington Republicans, having helped create this recession, have attempted to block our every effort to deal with it.”

But with the unemployment rate expected to rise again in new jobs numbers due out today, panic is setting in among many Democratic candidates who fear it is too late for Obama to convince voters that he understands the depth of the nation’s economic woes and can fix them.



White House officials cautioned that no tax cuts have been settled on and that a more limited measure could emerge. Policy staffers are debating a range of options. For example, a payroll-tax holiday – a top priority of many business groups – could be applied only to new hires or extended to current employees. It could be limited to small businesses or extended to larger firms.

Read more: White House considers package of business tax breaks to spur hiring – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_15979508#ixzz0yTzTlu7i


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