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 Secretary Geithner's Remarks at an Announcement about the Impact of Recovery Act Tax Cuts Washington, D.C. As Prepared for Delivery


3/22/2010


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I want to thank Doug Shulman and all the dedicated officers of the IRS for their hard work improving taxpayer service and making it easier for Americans to take advantage of the substantial tax benefits in the Recovery Act.    

Americans are still suffering a great deal from the damage caused by this recession.  But because this President acted so quickly and forcefully, the economy is starting to expand again. 

A year ago, our economy was shrinking at an annual rate of six percent.  Now, due in large part to the Recovery Act, the economy grew at an annual rate of six percent last quarter. 

And as the economy continues to grow, and as we continue to repair the damage, the economy will start creating jobs again.

The Recovery Act and our actions to fix the financial system were decisive in starting to turn the economy around.

I know that when most people think about the Recovery Act, they think about roads and bridges, assistance to states to keep teachers in the classroom, and extended unemployment benefits.

But the Recovery Act also provided nearly $300 billion in tax cuts and tax incentives. 

And these tax cuts are working.  They are providing tax relief to 95 percent of working families, making it easier to buy a new house, helping municipal governments borrow to fund investment in projects in your communities, encouraging businesses to expand again, to help pay for college tuition.

One of the most effective things the government can do to help us dig out of this mess is to promote a strong, dynamic private sector. 

The most important thing we can do to improve the economic security of Americans is to create more opportunities for good jobs, with growing income.

Tax incentives can play a key role in this process.  They work by encouraging the initiative of individuals and businesses.

That's why the Recovery Act included tax cuts like small business expensing and bonus depreciation to support business investment, tax cuts like the Making Work Pay credit for hard-working families, and tax cuts like the Advanced Energy Investment Credit to help keep us at the forefront of green technology.

That's why the President's Budget proposes eliminating capital gains taxes on key investments in small businesses, and why – just last week – the President signed into law new tax cuts to provide incentives for small businesses to hire new workers and make new investments.

And that's why it's so important that the health reform bill includes $400 billion to help families and small businesses afford health insurance. Now, of the $300 billion in tax benefits in the Recovery Act, nearly half of that is still ahead of us.

We want to make sure that Americans take full advantage of these benefits.

If you just bought your first home, or are thinking about it, you could be eligible for $8,000 in tax credits.

If you replaced old, drafty windows, or put new insulation in your attic, you might be able to claim $1,500 in tax credits.

If you have a daughter or son in college, you could be eligible for up to $2,500 in college expenses per year for four years.

Don't leave your money on the table.  The more you can claim, the more money is pushed back into the economy, helping us grow out of this crisis.

I now have the pleasure of introducing the Vice President.  He chairs the White House Task Force on Working Families. He has been running the day to day process of making sure the Recovery Act does what it is supposed to do.  And because of his forceful, persuasive powers with the Cabinet, with Governors, and with elected officials across the country, this program, the most powerful program of tax cuts and investments in modern U.S. history, is moving with speed, transparency, and efficiency  to help Americans come out of this crisis.

Now the Vice President is going to show you a simple tool to help ensure that Americans are taking full advantage of these benefits.

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