Obama Offers 'Grand Bargain' Corporate Tax Cuts in Exchange for Middle Class Jobs

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With budget negotiations grinding to a halt, Obama is scrambling to find a solution that will both satisfy Republicans and forward his agenda of building a strong middle class.

Obama is expected to announce the "grand bargain" in a speech delivered in an Amazon.com distribution center in Chattanooga, TN Tuesday afternoon. Obama is willing to grant a corporate tax cut, but in exchange, he is insisting that corporations invest in programs that will create middle class jobs.

Obama has never actually been opposed to cutting corporate tax rates, but in the past he has always paired the idea with a restructuring of the tax code for wealthy individuals. This time, the only price of the tax cuts would be corporate investments in job-creating programs like manufacturing, infrastructure, and community colleges.

Republicans won't necessarily be satisfied with this kind of compromise. John Boehner's office told the Associated Press, "This proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama's position on taxes and President Obama's position on spending, while leaving small businesses and American families behind."

Once again, Congress is having trouble agreeing on its two versions of the budget for the 2014 fiscal year. There is still a $91 billion gap between the versions passed by the House and the Senate, and it is unlikely to be resolved by the October deadline. (Meaning we can expect Congress to implement the kind of stopgap measure that seems to have become the norm in recent years.) Congress will have to pass a temporary funding bill in order to stop a government shutdown on October 1.

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