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December 10, 2009

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Obama proposes a tax incentive to create jobs

UNITED States President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a tax incentive for small businesses that add workers, even as Congress struggles to figure out how such an idea would work.

Lawmakers have been working for several months to develop a tax credit for businesses that hire workers, but they have been unable to figure out how to do it in a way that won't be abused.

Neither Obama nor his top advisers offered details. They didn't say how big the tax break would be nor how it would be administered. Obama pledged to work on the issue with Congress.

"I believe it's worthwhile to create a tax incentive to encourage small businesses to add and keep employees and I'm going to work with Congress to pass one," Obama said.

Congress is running out of time to pass a jobs package this year, and the process will be even more complicated if the administration doesn't come up with details. Moreover, the Senate is preoccupied with health care reform.

Obama's other tax proposals were more familiar. He proposed extensions and enhancements of several tax breaks that were part of the economic stimulus package passed in February, including tax writeoffs for companies that buy new equipment.

Republicans said Democratic efforts to pass a new jobs bill shows the last stimulus package was ineffective.

"Temporary tax relief won't overshadow the long-term concerns of anxious employers," said Representative Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.


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