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VOL. 126 | NO. 234 | Thursday, December 01, 2011

Obama: 'Massive Blow' if GOP Blocks Payroll Tax

JIM KUHNHENN | Associated Press

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SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – On the attack, President Barack Obama warned Wednesday of a "massive blow to the economy" if Republicans oppose him over extending a payroll tax cut, as he campaigned for more money in the pockets of U.S. workers – and in his campaign treasury.

Obama pressed his case at a campaign-style rally in working-class Scranton, Pa., where he said Republicans had to choose between lower taxes for the wealthy, or a payroll tax cut that would help working Americans.

"Are you going to cut taxes for the middle class and those who are trying to get into the middle class or are you going to protect massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires?" he said. "Are you going to ask a few hundred thousand people who have done very, very well to do their fair share or are you going to raise taxes for hundreds of millions of people across the country?"

Obama was traveling later Wednesday to donor-rich New York City to raise money for his already flush re-election bid, in a day illustrating the dual policy and political demands on the president as the 2012 campaign season nears.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Republicans said they were prepared to extend the temporary payroll tax cut, but they opposed Democrats' plan to pay for it by taxing incomes over $1 million, setting up a showdown over how to pay for any eventual measure.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 65 366 17,721
MORTGAGES 70 417 23,068
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 91 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 210 932 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 62 299 16,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 80 5,781
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 49 305 25,174
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 96 5,381

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