Obama: GOP favors tax loopholes that send jobs overseas

President Obama took aim at Republicans in his weekly radio address Saturday, accusing the party of favoring corporate tax loopholes that encourage companies to create jobs overseas.

The president said the key to job creation is encouraging companies to invest more of their resources here in the United States.

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"But for years, our tax code has actually given billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs and profits in other countries," said Obama. "I want to close those tax loopholes."

The president pushed his proposal to make the research and experimentation tax cut permanent and allow tax breaks for businesses on capital spending — allowing companies to write off all of their investment costs through next year.

"These are common-sense ideas," Obama said. "When more things are made in America, more families make it in America. But Republicans in Washington have consistently fought to keep these corporate loopholes open. Over the last four years alone, Republicans in the House voted 11 times to continue rewarding corporations that create jobs and profits overseas — a policy that costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year."

With a stagnant economy and an unemployment rate at 9.6 percent, Obama and national Democrats have pointed the finger at the GOP in recent weeks. Democrats argue the economy is still trying to climb out of the hole dug by the policies of former President George W. Bush, and they warn against Republican ideas on tax reform.

The president said in the coming months he intends to fight for tax breaks for small businesses and manufacturers.

"We should reward the people who are helping us lead in the industries of the future, like clean energy," Obama said. "That’s how we’ll ensure that American innovation and ingenuity are what drive the next century."

The argument that a Congress led by Republicans would further incentivize American companies to ship jobs overseas has been a persistent line of attack for Democrats in some competitive House and Senate races this fall.

Earlier this month, Obama indicated support for lowering the corporate tax rate, a cut he said should be paid for by closing off certain tax loopholes. The administration has come under fire from businesses who argue the president's corporate tax proposals would hurt the competitiveness of U.S.-based companies.

It still remains unclear what Democrats will try to push in the post-election lame-duck session of Congress.

Back in September, the president announced a push for another $50 million in stimulus spending concentrated on infrastructure projects, but it's not clear whether Democrats will take that up. Republicans roundly denounced the proposal, and many Democrats were skittish on additional spending.

The debate over the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts is likely to top the list for Congress in the lame-duck. Republicans, and many Democrats, argue that not extending the cuts will hurt small business and stand in the way of economic recovery. The tax cuts are set to expire on Dec. 31. Obama opposes extending the cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year.