Presidential Q&A Session

September 10, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

President Barack Obama this morning addressed the press corps on a variety of issues ranging from the economy to international affairs.

The President elaborated on the Congressional Democrats and the White House achievements thus far.

President Obama also laid out the economic progressive tax structure with permanent tax cuts for the middle class and those earning up to $250,000 income.

On the previous administration’s tax cuts expiration for the top 2% wealthy individuals earning above $250,000 – the economic strategy would benefit the higher income groups and not hurt them as claimed by the critics.

As the President explained – the first $250,000 earnings would qualify for the permanent tax cuts and only the remaining income would be subject to the applicable tax. Essentially 98% taxpayers might qualify for the permanent tax cut creating a vast middle income that would expedite economic recovery.

In terms of various appointments being stalled pending Senate confirmation – the President’s frustration was justified. Among them the Consumer Protection Agency Director position that needs to be filled in the immediate future requires bipartisan support in the Senate.

The consumer related problems on credit cards, mortgages and other financial commitments could be addressed effectively through the agency specializing in these issues.

The President also emphasized on the urgency to pass the bill facilitating small business loans through community banks for economic revival. The bipartisanship on this legislation is crucial for it would clarify the opposition minority stance in assisting the small business community worst hit in the economic recession.

In fact, the President urged on the bill to be approved upon the Senate resuming session in the coming weeks.

On the infrastructure plan – the President’s second stimulus $50 billion was raised at the news conference. Considering the proposal is self-funded by closing tax loopholes, any blockade would be political rather than economic.

Further, the $787 billion stimulus had funds allocated for this purpose and the combined investments would be a job booster upon $50 billion bill overcoming the Senate hurdle.

The economic plan is sound and guaranteed to generate jobs provided the Senators across the aisle extend their bipartisan cooperation to help the President and the Congress members jumpstart the economy to improve American lives.

Other matter at the session will be discussed individually.

Overall the President’s message on the economy and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were very hopeful and optimistic.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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