Obama: Republicans Are Playing Politics, 'Pure and Simple'


"There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner," he said. "There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy we already tried for the last decade; the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place. Cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations."

"I believe we ought to make the tax cuts for the middle class permanent. These families are the ones who saw their wages and incomes flatline over the last decade -- and they deserve a break. And because they are more likely to spend on basic necessities, this will strengthen the economy as a whole," the president added.

Boehner went on his own media offensive earlier today, calling for a bill that would cut non-security spending to 2008 levels and enact a freeze on tax rates.

"I'm open to the president's idea but I think the president is missing the bigger idea here," Boehner said on "Good Morning America" today. "And that is, with all the spending in Washington and all the uncertainty facing small businesses, including the coming tax hikes on Jan. 1 -- Until this uncertainty and spending is under control, I don't think these are going to have much impact."

Obama Proposes Incentives for Businesses

For Democrats fighting for their political lives this fall amidst a dismal economic picture, the president's proposals come as welcome news.

"The thrust of this is in the right direction," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Tuesday on CNN's "American Morning." "It's to continue to get people back to work, to accelerate job creation, and not go back to the policies that got us into this mess."

Small business owners say the write-off has tremendous benefits when it comes to cost savings, but among both business owners and politicians, there is little hope the proposals will translate into policy any time soon.

When lawmakers return next week from their summer vacation, the first order of business for the Senate won't be any of Obama's latest proposals, but rather a $30 billion small business bill that has been stalled since June, evidence of the partisan gridlock in Congress.

But business owners are not holding their breath for any big changes in the next few months. For all the talk, the chances of action in the near-term appear slim, with Congress skittish about the country's soaring debt and ever more focused on the upcoming elections.

"There's a lot of politics in almost everything that happens in Washington right now," said Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association. "There's plenty of blame to go around and the problem is, [in] the political system that we have right now, there are more incentives to fight and to put out proposals that are more symbolic than real ... incentives to get things done."

There is rising frustration among small business owners about the stalemate, and while it's directed at both parties, it's likely to hurt Democrats more in November, McCracken said.

Gene Owens, a small business owner in Pennsylvania, said there is doubt that proposals coming from Democrats or Republicans are genuine.

"The uncertainty is the most difficult thing about life right now as a business owner," Owens said. "Most business owners see this as just politics. It's just a lot of political jerry-rigging and it's not addressing the real issue."

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