Biden says passage of tax cut is critical to growth
The White House stepped up its campaign Thursday for a tax deal negotiated with Republicans, sending an e-mail to supporters from Vice President Biden arguing that the $900 billion package would provide a critical boost to the economy.
"There are things in here that the President and I don't like - like the temporary extension of tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and a more generous treatment of the estate tax than is warranted," Biden wrote in the missive, sent to subscribers to the White House e-mail list.
"But what is at stake is the strength of our recovery and much needed relief for middle class families," the e-mail says. "The bottom line is that if Congress does not act to extend unemployment insurance, 2 million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance this month alone. And if we don't extend middle class tax cuts, millions of families will see a spike in their tax bill when they can least afford it."
On Wednesday, White House economic adviser Larry Summers warned at a press briefing that if Congress does not pass the tax cuts bill soon, the United States could go into a "double-dip" recession. A "double dip" refers to a economic cycle that begins with a recession, then months of economic growth followed by another recession.
Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, discusses the tax cut deal in a video posted on the White House Web site Thursday morning: