WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting an economy in peril, President Barack Obama on Thursday night unveiled a $450 billion plan to boost jobs and put cash in the pockets of dispirited Americans, challenging Republican skeptics to embrace an approach heavy on the tax cuts they traditionally love. With millions of voters watching and ever skeptical of Washington, Obama told Congress, “Let’s meet the moment.”
The newest and boldest element of Obama’s plan would slash the Social Security payroll tax both for tens of millions of workers and for employers, too. For individuals, that tax has been shaved from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for this year but is to go back up again without action by Congress. Obama wants to keep it and deepen the cut to 3.1 percent for workers.
“This plan is the right thing to do right now,” Obama said after a divided body rose in warm unison to greet him. “You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.”