The acceleration of the business write-off for plants and equipment would have a net long-term cost of $30 billion, far less than the amount the legislation would put in the hands of businesses, the White House contends. That's because if companies take their write-offs upfront, they can't depreciate the costs over a longer period for future tax breaks -- as they do now.
Republican leaders greeted Obama's most recent proposals cautiously, given past GOP support for various components.
"The White House is missing the big picture," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "These aren't necessarily bad proposals. ..." But he said they don't address the larger problems of "excessive government spending" and Democratic tax policies, including the impending expiration of Bush-era tax cuts.
Obama and Democratic congressional leaders want to renew the Bush tax cuts for households earning under $250,000 a year. Republicans want to extend all of them, saying a recession is no time to raise taxes.