The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama signed into law the most significant tax bill in nearly a decade Friday. The law will extend Bush-era tax cuts for another two years in an effort to boost the tepid economic recovery. In remarks before signing the bill, Obama called it "a substantial victory for middle-class families across the country." He added: "They're the ones hardest hit by the recession we've endured. They're the ones who need relief right now." Obama described the bill as "a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class, that will grow our economy and will create jobs for the American people." Fellow Democrats were upset about the extension of tax cuts to the wealthy because of the $700 billion it will add to the deficit. Noticably absent from the signing were the top Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The $858 billion package prevents taxes from rising on New Year's Day for virtually every American household. The measure also will guarantee unemployed workers in hard-hit states up to 99 weeks of jobless benefits through the end of next year. And it will create major new incentives for business and consumer spending in 2011, including a two-percentage-point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax that would let workers keep as much as $2,136. Some critics think that President Obama is hedging his bets, while others believe that he has sold out to the Republicans, succumbing to their blackmail. Only time will tell which side is correct. It will be interesting to see what voters think in 2012.
Read more in The Washington Post.