Spotlight Exclusives

President Obama۪s Tax DealBoon or Bane, It۪s Up for Debate

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No debate has occupied more oxygen in Washington over the past few weeks than whether and how long to extend the so-called “Bush tax cuts,” set to expire at the end of the year. With a bill now being signed by the President, OOTS wants to wade into the discussion by taking a quick look at a couple of provisions in the final tax package relevant to low-income people.

There were several specific provisions targeting low-income peoplein the deal negotiated with Republican leadership.

Chief among these is an extension of unemployment benefits, which would preserve these benefits for 7 million workers through December 2011, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).David Leonhardt of the New York Times states that “left-leaning policy experts said the package did more to create jobs than they had thought possible after the Republicans’ midterm election victories” and economists have estimated that the packagecould bring unemployment down to 8 percent by 2012.

Middle – and low-income families will also benefit from cuts topayroll and business taxes, and several improved tax credits, including one forcollege tuition. According to CBPP, these changes will “keep more than 2 million Americans above the poverty line and reduce the severity of poverty for 19 million more.” While much of the discussion focused on the extension of the tax cuts to the highest earners, there were still elements of the deal focused on reducingunemployment, cutting payroll taxes, and implementing tax creditsall benefitsto low-income people. We at OOTS will watch to see the impact of these measuresin the coming year.

Posted by Mike


Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn’t always make the evening news. Check out Outof the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latestpolitical developments and their impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

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