Today President Obama and top Congressional Leaders began to discuss compromises needed to reach an agreement between the White House and Congress for next year’s budget. If an agreement between the two is not met by the end of the year, taxes on all Americans will increase.

“We have to make sure that taxes don’t go up on the middle class, that the economy remains strong,” the President told reporters. “That’s an agenda that Democrats and Republicans and independents, people all across the country share. So our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together, work together, find some common ground, make some tough compromises, build some consensus to do the people’s business.”

In order to reduce the deficit, President Obama proposes allowing the existing tax cuts on the top two percent to expire while extending cuts for all with taxpayers with incomes below $250,000. To keep the tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent, House conservatives propose cutting federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. The stalemate over taxing the wealthy or cutting programs has taken tax cuts for the middle class hostage, and many of the tax cuts at stake disproportionately affect young, single women. According to a report [PDF] released earlier this year by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women graduates only make 82 percent of the wages earned by their male counterparts one year after graduating from college. Increasing taxes for these women would have even harsher repercussions as they are already receiving lower wages than their male counterparts.

Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 11/16/12; LA Times 11/16/12; New York Times 11/16/12; Washington Post 11/16/12; AAUW 2012

Photo available under creative commons license via Flickr user Leader Nancy Pelosi .

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