Obama Promises Tax Relief for Middle-Class, Urges Americans to Back Health Overhaul

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President Obama used his Jan. 27 State of the Union speech to assure Americans that he is working to provide more tax relief, particularly to middle-class households, and sell them on the need for completing an overhaul of the health care system. Obama built a broad platform for lawmakers to use to jump-start job creation, offering incentives for businesses to hire and invest, expand the production and use of new energy-efficient technologies, and cut employers' health care costs. The president said the House has already passed a “jobs” bill that includes some of those provisions, and he called on the Senate to make passage of a similar bill its first order of business this year.“People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay,” Obama said. Although the president did not delve into the details of his proposals in his speech, his advisers said he is seeking an extension of the accelerated depreciation provision included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Pub. L. No. 111-5) to provide additional tax relief for all businesses.