ANALYSIS: 100 Days and Counting

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  • Three months before Election Day, the White House has released a new report by the National Economic Council that highlights how President Barack Obama will keep taxes from rising for 98 percent of America’s families, which also includes millions of African-Americans.

    The report says Obama plans to create jobs by growing the economy not from the top down, but based on a strong and secure middle class.  A typical family making $50,000 a year has received tax cuts totaling $3,600 over the past four years, more if they were putting a child through college.

    “Today, while Republicans and Democrats in Washington rarely see eye‐to‐eye, everyone agrees that extending middle class tax cuts will give working families and our economy a little more certainty at this make‐or‐break moment,” according to the report.

    The federal study comes as major polls show Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat with most Americans saying the economy and job creation is their number one priority.

    As the campaign moves into the final 100 days, a majority of Americans now say Romney’s business background would help him make the right decisions on the economy if he’s elected President. According to a new USA Today-Gallup poll, 63 percent viewed Romney’s background as an asset in handling the nation’s economic problems.

    Meanwhile, Obama is hoping that his economic recovery initiatives will be enough to persuade voters to give him another four years in the White House.

    On January 1, the report says, taxes are scheduled to go up for 114 million middle class families by an average of $1,600 as such tax cuts as the expanded Child Tax Credit, the 10 percent tax bracket, marriage penalty relief, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit all expire.

    Under the president’s proposal, the 98 percent of American families with incomes of less than $250,000 per year would continue to benefit in full from the income tax cuts expiring at the end of 2012, including:

    • The doubling of the Child Tax Credit to $1,000 per child, and the extension of the credit to millions of working families that previously could not benefit from it.
    • The 10 percent tax bracket, which will provide middle class couples with a tax cut of up to $890 next year.
    • Marriage penalty relief, which reduces or eliminates marriage penalties for nearly 38 million couples.
    • Lower tax rates on up to $250,000 of income ($200,000 for single filers).
    • In addition, the President’s proposal would reinstate the $7 million per‐couple estate tax exemption, which exempts all but the wealthiest 3 in 1,000 decedents from tax.

    The Obama campaign is dispatching black celebrities across the country to help get Obama's message out. Last weekend, actor Don Cheadle and actresses Nia Long and Alfre Woodward participated in some of the 4,700 grassroots events in all 50 states to rally the electorate.  

    “Ever since I first ran for this office, I've said that it will take more than one year or one term or even one President to restore the dream that this country built,” Obama said last week during a fundraiser in Oakland.

    “And, obviously, the crisis that we went through made it that much harder,” Obama said.  “…But for those cynics who say that our best days are behind us, they haven't witnessed the everyday courage and character of the American people.”

    In the meantime, the Obama campaign released a new television ad that will air this week in nine battleground states, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The new ad, entitled “The Choice,” features Obama laying out the choice of how to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs and pay down the debt.

    Obama for America also released a new online video featuring Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter that debunks Republican Mitt Romney’s distortions of the president’s recent comments regarding small business owners.

    In addition, the campaign released two new radio advertisements called “Same Chances” and “Donald Brooks” focusing on President Obama's commitment to a quality education for all Americans. 

    "Today we're battling our way back from a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis," Obama told The National Urban League last week.  "And make no mistake, we've made progress in that fight. When I took office, we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. Our auto industry was on the brink of collapse. Factories were boarding up their windows. We'd gone through almost a decade in which job growth had been sluggish, incomes had declined, costs were going up, all culminating in the financial system coming close to a breakdown."

    "Today, three and a half years later, we've had 28 straight months of private sector job growth," Obama added. "Three and a half years later, the auto industry has come roaring back. Three and a half years later, companies are beginning to bring thousands of jobs back to American soil."

     

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