Obama touts tax cuts in stimulus as April 15 tax deadline around corner

President Barack Obama, in his weekly radio address, encouraged Americans to take advantage of tax cuts included in his stimulus package as April 15 looms.

Obama acknowledged that with the economy in a state of slow recovery, "when many families are having trouble just making it all work, Tax Day can seem even more daunting."

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But pointing to increased health insurance tax credits for the unemployed, homebuyer tax credits and other measures, Obama said that many families will find "welcome relief" this year as tax refunds are up an average of nearly 10 percent.

"All across America are good, decent folks who meet their obligations each and every day," Obama said. "They work hard. They support their families. They try to make an honest living the best they can. And this weekend, many are sitting down to pay the taxes they owe – not because it’s fun, but because it’s a fundamental responsibility of our citizenship."

The president noted that one-third of the $787 billion recovery act was made up of tax cuts, and that Americans who have already filed their taxes have seen an average of about $3,000 in refunds.

"No one I’ve met is looking for a handout," Obama said. "And that’s not what these tax cuts are. Instead, they’re targeted relief to help middle class families weather the storm, to jump-start our economy, and to bring the fundamentals of the American dream – making an honest living, earning an education, owning a home and raising a family – back within reach for millions of Americans."


The president also put in a plug for the recently signed healthcare reform legislation, saying it includes "the largest middle class tax cut for healthcare in history."

"And once it’s implemented, millions of Americans will finally be able to purchase quality, affordable care and the security and peace of mind that comes with it," Obama said. "And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000. That’s another promise we’ve kept."

Obama said Americans paying their taxes should visit WhiteHouse.gov and "click on the Tax Savings Tool" to see if they qualify for any of the new tax cuts. He added for those who have already filed, "don't worry," returns can be amended after Tax Day.

The president said the new tool makes "it easy to find out what’s owed to you and your family." 

"After all, the big guys know how to find their tax breaks; it’s time you did, too," Obama said.