The White House Responds to a We the People Petition on the Bush Tax Cuts

President Obama has called on Congress to extend the tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans making less than $250,000 for another year so that millions of American families don’t see their taxes go up by $2,200 starting on January 1st. July 9, 2012.

Yesterday, the White House responded to a petition that asked the Obama Administration to commit to vetoing any legislation that extends the Bush tax cuts for the 1%. In his response, David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to the President, stated that while the President is calling on Congress to prevent taxes from going up on 98% of Americans by extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle-class, he affirmed that the President will veto any legislation that extends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

We the People is an online petitioning platform designed to give all Americans a new and unique way to petition the Obama administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.

Watch and share today’s video, then check out the response below or on We the People.


By David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to the President

Thanks for participating in We the People and speaking out about how important it is to make the tax code simpler and fairer to grow the economy and create jobs.

President Obama believes we need an economy built on a strong and growing middle class, and is calling on Congress to prevent taxes from going up on 98% of Americans by extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class.

The President also believes that the top 2% should return to Clinton-era income tax rates — when the United States created 23 million jobs and ran the biggest budget surplus in history — and will veto any legislation that extends the unaffordable Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest in our country.

As President Obama recently said:

Many members of the other party believe that prosperity comes from the top down, so that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth.

I disagree. I think they’re wrong. I believe our prosperity has always come from an economy that’s built on a strong and growing middle class — one that can afford to buy the products that our businesses sell; a middle class that can own homes, and send their kids to college, and save enough to retire on. That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President — by $3,600 for the typical middle-class family.

Moreover, we’ve tried it their way. It didn’t work. At the beginning of the last decade, Congress passed trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans more than anybody else. And we were told that it would lead to more jobs and higher incomes for everybody, and that prosperity would start at the top but then trickle down.

And what happened? The wealthy got wealthier, but most Americans struggled. Instead of creating more jobs, we had the slowest job growth in half a century. Instead of widespread prosperity, the typical family saw its income fall. And in just a few years, we went from record surpluses under Bill Clinton to record deficits that we are now still struggling to pay off today.

So we don’t need more top-down economics. We’ve tried that theory. We’ve seen what happens. We can’t afford to go back to it. We need policies that grow and strengthen the middle class — policies that help create jobs, that make education and training more affordable, that encourage businesses to start up and create jobs right here in the United States.

So that’s why I believe it’s time to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — folks like myself — to expire.

You can hear more from him here.

While how to handle taxes for the wealthiest 2% may be a contentious issue, both Republicans and Democrats agree that taxes shouldn’t go up on the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000. President Obama is ready to sign an extension of the middle-class tax cuts as soon as it hits his desk. Now it’s up to Congress to get it there.

Thank you,

David Plouffe

Senior Advisor to the President