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President Obama: “We've got a choice to make”

During a stop at Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids, President Obama laid out what's at stake for working families in Iowa and all over the country if Congress doesn't act to extend tax cuts for the middle class:

President Obama: So I was over at Jason and Ali’s … wonderful, wonderful story, really nice family. Jason is the new principal over at Central City High. Ali is an account manager at a document scanning company. They’ve got a very cute 4-year-old, Cooper, and then the yet-to-be-named other cute one. They met at a convenience store where they worked while they were in school. Apparently, Ali was Jason’s boss …

So we were talking about something that nobody looks forward to, and that's paying taxes. Everybody understands it’s something you have to do; you don't love doing it. But we were talking about how over the last four years, because of policies my administration put in place, we’ve been able to offer the McLaughlins about $4,900 in tax relief.

And they’ve said that’s made a real difference in their lives. It’s helped them pay their bills; helped them get day care for Cooper. We were sitting and I was telling them the house they're in now is roughly the same size as the house that Michelle and I lived in for the first 13 years that we were married. We had a little co-op. And when they were talking about the bills, I remembered going through them. You got the mortgage. You got the student loans. You got the electricity bill, car note, gas bill, day care. Everything they were talking about was familiar because Michelle and I went through it. And that $4,900 helped. It made a difference.

Now we’ve got a choice to make, because on January 1st, taxes are scheduled to go up on everybody in America. That's what the law says right now—if we don't do anything, if Congress doesn't do anything, taxes will go up on everybody at the end of this year.

Yesterday I called on Congress to stop any tax hikes for the 98% of Americans who are just like the McLaughlins—just like you. Because if Congress doesn't act, then that tax hike could cost up to $2,200 for a family of four. That wouldn’t just be a big financial hit for Jason and Ali, because as they pointed out—and this is what I love about America and what I love about them—they said, "As tight as things may be for us, we’re a lot better off than a lot of folks we know." So imagine, if it’s tough for them, what it’s going to be for somebody else?

Audience member: Like my mom.

President Obama: Like your mom.

Stand with families like the McLaughlins—join President Obama in urging Congress to extend middle class tax cuts.

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