Obama Counters Tea Party’ Demonstrators

Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:55am

President Barack Obama struck back on Wednesday against activists who marked Tax Day by organizing “tea parties— to protest the administration’s economic policies, pointing to a variety of policies that he said will reduce the tax burden.

Speaking at the White House, Obama said the stimulus bill passed earlier this year would cut income taxes for 95 percent of workers, help small businesses offset losses, and provide tax credits for home purchases and education.

Obama also said he was determined to overhaul the tax code, noting he is awaiting recommendations due at the end of this year from a panel headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. “I want every American to know that we will rewrite the tax code so that it puts your interests over any special interest,— Obama said.

Obama said his proposal to end tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers would return them to the rates they paid “when Bill Clinton was president,— a not-too-subtle reminder that the higher rates were in place at a time the economy was expanding.

But Congressional Republicans said the “tea parties— show people are not buying into the Obama program.

“Across our nation, thousands of Americans are participating in taxpayer tea parties today for one simple reason: Overtaxed families and small businesses have had enough,— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “They’ve had enough of Democrats forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for more wasteful spending instead of working together to make the tough fiscal decisions Americans are forced to make each and every day.—