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Speaking in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Obama explains why extending and expanding the payroll tax cut means supporting middle-class families and changing our tax code to reflect our values.
"Of course, those productive investments cost money -- they're not free. And so we've also paid for these investments by asking everyone to do their fair share. Look, if we had unlimited resources, no one would ever have to pay any taxes and we'd never have to cut any spending. But we don't have unlimited resources. And so we have to set priorities. If we want a strong middle class, then our tax code must reflect our values. We have to make choices.
Today that choice is very clear. To reduce our deficit, I've already signed nearly $1 trillion of spending cuts into law, and I've proposed trillions more -- including reforms that would lower the cost of Medicare and Medicaid.
But in order to structurally close the deficit and get our fiscal house in order, we have to decide what our priorities are. Most immediately, we need to extend a payroll tax cut that's set to expire at the end of this month. If we don't do that, 160 million Americans, including most of the people here, will see their taxes go up by an average of $1,000 starting in January, and it would badly weaken our recovery. "