President Obama today signed into law a two month extension of the payroll tax cut, which means that 160 million American workers will not see their paychecks shrink starting Jan 1, 2012. The President thanked Congress for ending the stalemate and urged them to keep working to reach an agreement that extends this tax cut as well as unemployment insurance through all of 2012, saying it is the right thing to do for American families and for the economy, and called it “a boost that we very much need right now.”
The extension came after tens of thousands of working Americans turned to the internet to let politicians in Washington know just how much they were relying on that tax break, which amounts to about $40 per paycheck for a family making $50,000 a year, and the President acknowledged just how valuable their contributions had been to the conversation happening in the Capital:
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank my fellow Americans for bringing their voices to this debate. I met with several here at the White House yesterday. I really think it takes courage to believe that your voice can make a difference. And I promise you, the American people, your voices made a difference on this debate. Whether you tweeted or called or wrote, you reminded people in this town what this debate and what all of our debates should be about — it’s about you. It’s about your lives. It’s about your families. You didn’t send us to this town to play partisan games, and to see who’s up and who’s down. You sent us here to serve and make your lives a little bit better; to do what’s right. And fortunately, that’s how this week ended.
The President called on Congress to redouble their efforts to make sure the economy is growing and that jobs are being created, and called this period a make-or-break moment for the middle class in this country.